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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

John and Ann Betar were married in 1932.

What do you buy for an 81st wedding anniversary? That is a question for John Betar, 102, and his wife, Ann, 98. They are America's longest married couple, having wed in 1932.

John and Ann Betar eloped in 1932.

John and Ann Betar eloped in 1932.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: John, Ann, Betar, married, oldest, couple, wedding, Christian, Worldwide Marriage Encounter

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - John Betar and his wife Ann have been married for 81 years, which according to Worldwide Marriage Encounter, they are America's longest married couple.

The couple lived in a close-knit Syrian community in Bridgeport, Connecticut when Ann's father made plans to marry her when she was just 17 to a man 20 years her senior. Ann didn't like that notion since she was already in love with John, the boy across the street.

The pair hatched a plan to elope and on a cool fall day they took off in John's Ford Roadster and married on Nov. 25, 1932 in Harrison, New York.

John and Ann Betar after their wedding in 1932. One family member predicted their marriage wouldn

John and Ann Betar after their wedding in 1932. One family member predicted their marriage wouldn't last.

Their families were quite upset with Ann's aunt predicting their marriage wouldn't last.

But last it did, for 81 years.

John became a grocer, then a realtor as their family grew to include three children, two daughters and a son.  Sadly, their son and a daughter have already passed. The oldest daughter is now 80 years old.

Despite the sorrow of losing children, they have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

The couple continues to laugh and joke in their waterfront home on Long Island Sound.

John said his secret to the long-married life is to "always agree with your wife."

Last February, a Christian group dedicated to preserving marriage traveled from San Bernadino, California, to Fairfield, Connecticut to present the Betars with an award and gifts. The group, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, says that the Betars are the country's longest-married couple. They based their conclusion on submissions sent from around the country.

Despite their conclusion there are 13 couples in the world who have been married longer, of which six are in the U.S.  The longest married couple in the world is a couple from the U.K., who have been married 88 years this December.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


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