John and Ann Betar, recognized as the 2013 “longest married couple in America,” have been married since Nov. 25, 1932, and this year will mark 81 years of marriage.
The couple was honored Saturday, Feb. 9 at their granddaughter’s home in Fairfield, CT with a plaque, certificates, and other gifts from Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a San Bernardino, Calif.-based group, dedicated to improving Christian marriages.
Granddaughter Heather Mitchell described the couple: "They are wonderful, generous, compassionate and good-humored," she told The New York News. "The way they deal with life's blessings and tragedies with such grace is one of the things that impresses me the most about them."
"Their humility is impressive," said Mitchell. "They don't think they are unique or special. They think 'Everyone in our day got married this young,' and they don't see how special they are as everyone around them does. It adds to their charm."
John offers this advice: “We just live with contentment, and we don’t live beyond our means. “ He added, “Just go with the flow.”
John, who is 101 years old and Ann, who is 97, grew up as neighbors in Bridgeport. John would often drive Ann to school. The two and got married when Ann's parents arranged for her to marry someone else, and the couple defied their wishes and eloped to New York. They have five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren
Worldwide Marriage Encounter says the longest married couple is based on nominations, so there may be others who have been married longer. Eighty years, however, is a considerably long time.