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Fifth Annual Search Begins for Longest Married Couples in United States

front-page, WWME In The News

Fifth Annual Search Begins for Longest Married Couples in United States, Sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., The fifth annual search for the longest married couple in the United States begins on Friday, October 10, 2014, it was announced today by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country.
This marks the project’s fifth consecutive year for the highly acclaimed activity recognizing couples for their long marriages. In 2011 Marshall & Winnie Kuykendall from Lordsburg, New Mexico were honored for 82 years of marriage, while in 2012 Wilbur & Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nevada were honored for 78 years of marriage. In 2013 John & Ann Betar of Fairfield, CT were honored for 80 years of marriage. This year Harold & Edna Owings of Burbank, CA were recognized for their 82 years of marriage. There are also state winners recognized at the same time each year for their longest marriages. There have been over 1200 couples nominated for the honors during the last four years. Winners are selected solely from nominations submitted.
“Once again we want to honor the longest married couple in the United States, as well as in each of the 50 states and territories. The national winners will be recognized during Valentine’s Week 2015, which coincides with World Marriage Day, which is the second Sunday of February,” explained Dick & Diane Baumbach and Fr. Dick Morse, the coordinators for the special project.

An Alumni Group was established for previous national and state winners. Previous state winners can vie for the national title, but they also are now considered members of the alumni of longest married couples in their individual states. This allows for new couples to be recognized for both state and national recognition. “What a joy and inspiration it is to recognize a husband and wife who have been married for many, many years,” the coordinators explained.
In addition to the longest married couple for the entire United States, recognition will also be given to a couple from each state and territories who has achieved that distinction. In the case of the United States couple, appropriate gifts will be presented to them by Ron & Judy Pekny and Fr. Rocky Grimard, the WWME national leadership team, at a ceremony to be held at the winner’s location during Valentine’s week. The state winners will also receive personal recognition and a special certificate of achievement from the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement.
Nominations, which are open to all husband and wife couples regardless of religious affiliation, may be submitted by email, regular mail or by calling a special phone number.

The contact information for sending in a nomination, which simply requires the name of the couple, their wedding date and where they currently reside- plus a contact phone or email address of the individual nominating the couple, is as follows: email wwmelmc2015@gmail.com, regular mail Dick & Diane Baumbach 8924 Puerto Del Rio Drive Suite 402, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, and special phone number 321-613-5180. Nominations must be received by January 10th, 2015.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 45 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at the parish where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. Priests are also encouraged to attend a WWME weekend, which offers insights into their relationship with the church and their parishioners, and how their Sacrament of Holy Orders interacts with the Sacrament of Matrimony. WWME offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today’s world. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online, go to wwme.org, or contact the WWME national office at (909) 863-9963.

Media inquires should be directed to:
Dick & Diane Baumbach
(321) 544-3440 dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

published Oct 15th, 2014 by in

2014 Longest Married Couple Project Winners Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

2014 Longest Married Couple Project, press releases, WWME In The News

For Immediate Release: Feb. 7, 2014

San Bernardino, CA - Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith based marriage enrichment program in the United States, announced today the national winners of the 2014 Longest Married Couple Project. They are Harold & Edna Owings of Burbank, CA. The Owings have been married 82 years as of Nov. 24, 2013.

Hundreds of nominations were received for this year’s project. The winners from individual states will be announced on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. This is the fourth year for the nationwide project.

"What a privilege and honor it is to recognize Harold and Edna Owings for their commitment to marriage," said Ron and Judy Pekny, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We are looking forward to personally recognizing them on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th, in their hometown of Burbank," they added. The Peknys serve with Fr. Rocky Grimard, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement.

The Owings were married Nov. 24, 1931. They met in 5th grade and Harold would bring Edna candy bars to school. If he thought she was annoyed at him he would give her two candy bars. Harold’s dad owned a candy store.

The California couple achieved the honor of being the Longest Married Couple based on nominations submitted to Worldwide Marriage Encounter beginning in October of last year. The nomination project ended on January 10th.

The Peknys pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from October 15th the previous year to January 10th of the current year. “We realize there could be couples married longer, but we did not receive their nominations from friends or family during the nominating period,” they said.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter created the project to highlight marriage in America and to show young couples that marriage really can go the distance. "What an inspiration Mr. & Owings are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 82 years ago and they have kept that commitment over these many years. They truly are a sign of hope to us all," the Peknys said.

The national winners have two children (both of whom are deceased), 4 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. The presentation of gifts and acknowledgments to the Owings will be made on Feb. 14th at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School in Burbank.

State winners from across the country will be presented certificates of achievement and other recognitions by Worldwide Marriage Encounter couples during Valentine's week.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 45 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today's world. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends go online to wwme.org or contact the WWME Office at (909) 863-9963.

Media inquires should be directed to:
Dick & Diane Baumbach
(321) 544-3440 dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

published Feb 07th, 2014 by in WWME

State Winners for 2014 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

2014 Longest Married Couple Project, press releases, WWME In The News
WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER 2210 East Highland Avenue, Suite 110 San Bernardino, CA 92404 (909) 863-9963 State Winners for 2014 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter For Immediate Release: Feb. 7, 2014

San Bernardino, CA – The 2014 state winners of the annual Longest Married Couple Project, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) , the original faith based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.

“We are truly excited and amazed at the number of couples married 70 years or more and we are particularly impressed that six of the couples taking the state honors each have over 80 years of marriage ,” explained Ron and Judy Pekny, the United States Leadership Team for WWME. The Peknys serve with Fr. Rocky Grimard as the U.S. Leadership Team.

“There were hundreds of nominations submitted,” the Peknys explained, adding, “Among the winners there are many couples with over 70 years of marriage and also quite a few with 60 plus years of marriage. That truly is a testament to having a commitment to a long marriage!”

The 2014 longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is Harold & Edna Owings of Burbank, CA. They are married over 82 years having made their marriage vows on Nov. 24, 1931. The Peknys will be traveling to Mr. & Mrs. Owings’ hometown on Feb. 14th to personally honor them at a special ceremony.

As in previous years of the four year old project, individual state winners will be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter over the Valentine’s week and weekend.

Winners of the project are automatically made members of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Longest Married Couple Project Alumni group. Couples cannot succeed themselves each year as either national or state winners, thus giving an opportunity to honor other longest married couples across the country.

The Peknys also pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from October 15th the previous year to January 10th of the current year. “We realize there could be couples married longer, but we did not receive their nominations from friends or family during the nominating period,” they said. They also pointed out that there were no nominations from three states.

The list of the 2014 state winners and their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:

Alabama - Aubrey & Delora Stewart 80 years
Dadeville, ALFeb. 27, 1933
Alaska – David & Aleen Fison 70 years
Anchorage, AKJuly 31, 1943
Arizona – Nicholas & Doris Johns 75 years
Sun City West, AZAugust 26, 1938
Arkansas – Sam & Katherine Ross 70 years
Cabot, ARJune 8, 1943
California – James & Rejane Mason 70 years
Carlsbad, CASept. 18, 1943
Colorado – Jesse & Muriel Wright 73 years
Littleton, COAugust 2, 1940
Connecticut – Gottfreid & Lucille Weingart 76 years
New Hartford, CTJanuary 1, 1938
Delaware – Horace, Jr. & Mary Lou Sherrill 69 years
Wilmington, DEMarch 2, 1944
Florida – Juan & Dulce Rondon 67 years
Hialeah, FL December 9, 1946
Georgia – Howard & Irma Nichols 68 years
Young Harris, GAJune 1, 1945
Hawaii – Angelino & Eva Ronquilio 78 years
Aiea, HIAugust 18, 1934
Illinois – Sol & Frances Deutsch 74 years
Highland Park, ILFeb. 12, 1939
Indiana – Edwin & Dorothy Boknecht 65 years
Fort Wayne, INJune 26, 1948
Iowa – Alvin & Eula Blankenship 78 years
Council Bluffs, IA June 12, 1935
Kansas – Dale & Alice Rockey 80 years
Olathe, KS December 29, 1933
Louisiana – Raphael & Nora Guidry 70 years
Opelousas, LADecember 19, 1943
Maine – Maynard & Phyllis McIntyre 68 years
Caribou, MENovember 10, 1945
Maryland – Sadanala & Lily John 75 years
Laurel, MDDecember 14, 1938
Massachusetts – Adrian & Lorraine LaPointe 69 years
Westfield, MAJune 25, 1944
Michigan - Clarence & Lavern Shumaker 70 years
Byron Center, MIFebruary 12, 1943
Minnesota – Ervin & Verna Kaduce 75 years
Mapleton, MNNovember 17, 1938
Mississippi – Ted and Markie Perkins 70 years
D’Iberville, MSAugust 16, 1943
Missouri – Ed & Ila Tenny 73 years
Lee’s Summit, MOJanuary 8, 1941
Montana – Clifford & Bessie Johnson 71 years
Great Falls, MTOctober 1, 1942
Nebraska – Paul & Dorothy Naprstek 75 years
Creighton, NE November 3, 1938
Nevada – Lynn & Evelyn Lillie 75 years
Carson City, NVOctober 15, 1938
New Hampshire – Eugene & Doris Cook 71 years
Boscowen, NHJanuary 30, 1942
New Jersey – Harvey & Dot Rimbach 72 years
Mahwah, NJJune 24, 1941
New Mexico – Arturo & Estella Estrada 71 years
Lordsburg, NMAugust 5, 1942
New York – Ernest & Helene Cochrane 80 years
Bay Shore, NYNovember 29, 1933
North Carolina - Robert & Adele Blank 70 years
Weaverville, NCNovember 10, 1943
North Dakota - Kasper & Josephine Heidt 70 years
New England, NDJune 20, 1943
Ohio - Don & Alice Hughes 74 years
Vaughnsville, OHOctober 18, 1939
Oklahoma – Eual & Rose McCrite 70 years
Oklahoma City, OKNovember 17, 1943
Oregon – Erling & Helen Haraldsen 70 years
Salem, ORJuly 31, 1943
Pennsylvania – Alton & Elsie Lehman 76 years
Ligonier, PASeptember 18, 1937
Rhode Island – Harold & Alice St. John, Jr. 59 years
Cranston, RI November 6, 1954
South Carolina – John & Anita Folsom 73 years
Greenville, SCOctober 17, 1941
South Dakota – Otto & Anna Mueller 78 years
Bowdle, SDFebruary 11, 1935
Tennessee – Edgar & Elsie Alley 72 years
Church Hill, TNDecember 19, 1941
Texas – Ralph & Mary Lou Riggs 80 years
Willis, TX November 4, 1933
Utah – Howard & Eileen Gemperline 60 years
Delta, UTJuly 4, 1953
Vermont – Lawrence & Beatrice Gerlack 68 years
South Burlington, VTJanuary 1, 1945
Virginia – Arthur and Lillian Bickmeyer 59 years
Gainesville, VAFebruary 20, 1954
Washington – Archie & Sylvia Bowman 62 years
Spokane Valley, WAJanuary 14, 1951
Wisconsin – Ted & Alice Rortvedt 81 years
Deforest, WIMay 9, 1932
Wyoming – Ed & Jeri NeVille 80 years
Byron, WYNovember 25, 1933

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 45 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today’s world. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online go to wwme.org or contact the WWME Office at (909) 863-9963.

Media inquires should be directed to:
Dick & Diane Baumbach
(321) 544-3440 dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

published Feb 07th, 2014 by in
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