FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) – John and Ann Betar weren’t supposed to get married. Her father had arranged for her to wed another man, but she and John fled Bridgeport and eloped in New York.
That was more than 80 years ago. The couple is still happily hitched, a fact that has led to their naming as the “longest married couple” in the U.S. for 2013 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian marriage group based in San Bernardino, Calif.
The Betars are scheduled to receive a plaque and other gifts from the group at their granddaughter’s home in Fairfield on Saturday.
They told the New York Daily News that there are no secrets to a long marriage, only a few simple rules.
“We just live with contentment and we don’t live beyond our means,” John Betar said. “Just go with the flow.”
John’s now 101 years old and Ann is 97, and they’re still living in their home along the Fairfield shore. They had five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Two of their children died in their 60s.
Ron and Judy Pekny of Worldwide Marriage Encounter say the title of “longest married couple” is based on nominations the group received, so there may be some couples who have been married longer.
John and Ann grew up across the street from each other in Bridgeport, and John used to drive Ann to high school in his Ford Roadster. They fell in love. When her father arranged for her to marry someone else, they eloped in Harrison, N.Y., about 25 miles north of New York City.
John went on to open a grocery store in Bridgeport.
Ann Betar told the Hearst Connecticut Media Group around their 80th anniversary in November that family has been a key to their longevity.
“That’s what makes life what it is,” she said. “We were fortunate enough to live long enough to see this … and it’s really one of the most gratifying things in the world to see your great-grandchildren, to see your grandchildren become adults.”
John Betar added, “That’s what keeps us alive. We live for them.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments