The year was 1932. The Great Depression was in full swing, but a celebration of love was taking place in November of that year.
John and Ann Betar eloped after fleeing Connecticut because Ann's father had arranged her to marry to a man 20 years her senior. She had already fallen in love with John who drove the local produce truck in her neighborhood. He would often give her and her friends a ride to high school, which is how their friendship began.
Her aunt told her father not to worry. "It won't last," she said. That was nearly 85 years ago and at ages 105 and 101, John and Ann are still proving her wrong.
They are officially the longest married couple in America and have been for several years. On Valentine's Day of 2016, Twitter followers were encouraged to submit questions to the couple about marriage using the hashtag #longestlove. They have a wealth of wisdom and wit to share with all who will listen.
In order to condense what they shared, we have made a list of their quips and quotes for your encouragement.
1. You have to like a person before you love them. We were good friends. – Ann Betar
2. "It's a lifelong thing. How do you define love? Through actions, understanding, little things … He loves the whole world. He doesn't think about disliking anybody. I don't either." – Ann Betar
3. "Let each other be, if it's not drastic. We wish everyone a blissful life like ours. We're just lucky." -John Betar
4. "Marriage isn't a lovey-dovey thing, y'know, for 80 years. You learn to accept one another's way of life." – Ann Betar
5. "Devote your time to understand one another." – Ann
6. "We always hold hands." – John
7. "We just take things as they come, and we're contented, and we have lovely family to support us." – John
8. "Listen to an older person when raising respectful children, whether you want to or not." They learned that from their parents. The Betar's also suggested to teach your children to never talk back to an older person.
9. "We never hold grudges. Most arguments are about food … Forgive each other." – John
10. "We hang on to one another. Just a few little hugs and we're fine." – Ann
11. "Live day-to-day within your means." – John
12. "Be content with what you have." – John
13. "Don't spend more than you have." – John
14. "Respect each other." – John
15. "We are very fortunate. It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing." – Ann
16. "We have watched the world change together. The key is to always agree with your wife." – John 🙂
Photos and quotes from FamilyShare.com. Click over to read more about their life and love.