John and Ann Betar’s relationship was based on something that lasts forever: true love. They were best friends, living near each other as they grew up. John was the boy across the street that stole Ann’s heart. Then, they eloped together in a whirlwind ceremony before Ann could be married to another man, causing fights among their families. Their dramatic marriage could have taken place in any classic romance, but it wasn’t just romantic fluff. It lasted so long and their love was so pure, they are now known as America’s longest married couple, about to celebrate their 81st anniversary.
Ann’s father planned for her to marry a man 20 years older than her, but John wouldn’t have it.
They drove off together in his Ford Roadster, infuriating their families and causing quite the commotion.
Their families didn’t think their marriage would last, which makes it even funnier that they were named by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter as 2013’s “longest married couple.”
They watched the world change together.
And John’s one piece of advice? “Always agree with your wife.”
Together, they raised five children and they have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Their oldest daughter is 80 (as Ann is 98 and John is 102). In the past few years, they lost both a son and daughter to cancer, something a parent should never have to live through.
But their love keeps them strong.
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