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State Winners for 2015 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

front-page, WWME In The News

For Immediate Release: Feb. 9, 2015

San Bernardino, CA – The 2015 state winners of the fifth 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 there were several with 60 plus 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 over 375 nominations submitted,” the Peknys explained, adding, “And, this year we had couples married much shorter times who wanted to make the Longest Married Couple Project something they could focus on in their marriages for the future.”

The 2015 longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is Dale & Alice Rockey of Olathe, KS. They are married over 81 years having made their marriage vows on Dec. 29, 1933. The Peknys honored Mr. & Mrs. Rockey in a special ceremony in their hometown of Olathe at the Good Samaritan Society this past weekend.

As in previous years of the five 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.

This year one of the winning couples, specifically from Texas. is known to many – they are Former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. They were nominated in early January 2015 just as they were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

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. “This year another couple was nominated with a longer marriage, but the family declined the honor and asked that it be passed on,” they said. “We honored that couples’ request and went to Olathe to see the Rockeys and to honor them for their 81 years of marriage.”

The Peknys also pointed out that there were no nominations this year from four states.

The list of the 2015 state winners and their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:

Alabama James & Sara Kornegay Jr, January 29, 1944 70 years Chelsea, AL
Alaska Gilbert & Sandra Cragen August 5, 1961 53 years Anchorage, AK
Arizona Lloyd & Lorraine Tomac May 11, 1953 61 years Tucson, AZ
Arkansas Edward & Louise Heinrichs November 28, 1944 70 years Fort Smith, AR
California Louis & Marjorie Renaud August 10, 1942 72 years Santa Barbara, CA
Colorado Paul & Dottie Craig June 18, 1940 74 years Colorado Springs, CO
Connecticut Francis & Mary Santy August 19, 1940 74 years Suffield, CT
Delaware Orville & Margaret Jenkins December 24, 1942 72 years Delmar, DE
Florida Albert & Angela Cassettari. September 9, 1939 75 years Nokomis, FL
Georgia John & Thelma Aitkens November 14, 1942 72 years Jesup, GA
Hawaii Frank & Rosalie Tadda June 26, 1948 66 years Mililani, HI
Illinois Joseph and Dorothy Nigrelli December 23, 1939 75 years Geneva, IL
Indiana Doyte & Mary Kibbey January 1, 1937 78 years Matthews, IN
Iowa Jim & Pearl Trebbien October 28, 1943 71 years Milford, IA
Kansas Pat & Helen Olmsted December 27, 1943 71 years Beattie, KS
Kentucky Agnes & James Macpherson December 27, 1941 73 years Louisville, KY
Louisiana Bill & Corinne Barry January 28, 1950 64 years Mandeville, LA
Maine Roland and Anita LaPointe September 6, 1948 66 years Vassalboro, ME
Maryland Henry & Velma Wiseman May 8, 1936 78 years Solomons, MD
Massachusetts - Harry & Julia McGuire July 4, 1939 75 years Plymouth MA
Michigan George & Evon Goscinski March 12. 1942 72 years Elsie MI
Minnesota Herbert & Delores Riley August 30, 1941 73 years Bemidji, MN
Missouri Martin & Vera Mosbauer June 24, 1939 75 years Independence, MO
Mississippi Hubert & Marcella Langford September 2, 1943 71 years Meridian, MS
Montana Robert & Agnes Cremer June 21, 1941 73 years Miles City, MT
Nebraska Donald & Bethel Cunningham March 30, 1944 70 years Fullerton, NE
Nevada Jim & Helen Freeman January 8, 1944 71 years Yerington, NV
New Jersey Michael & Marie Zimbile November 7, 1943 71 years Brick NJ
New Mexico Robert & Roma Lovato September 18, 1949 65 years Artesia, NM
New York Walter & Babs Sonneborn December 21, 1941 73 years Scarsdale, NY
North Carolina Daniel & Willie Williams August 17, 1937 77 years Charlotte, N.C
Ohio Winton & Dolores Arnold February 1, 1935 79 years Caledona, OH
Oklahoma Gordon & Pauline Spangler April 13, 1941 73 years Chickasha, OK
Oregon Wendle & Joyce Thomas May 24, 1943 71 years Corvallis, OR
Pennsylvania Paul & Flora Mellish June 9, 1938 76 years East Brady, PA
Rhode Island Bill & Helen Shields July 30, 1955 59 years Johnston, RI
South Carolina John & Jayne Walker September 1, 1945 69 years Clover, SC
Tennessee Chet & Marilyn Wegenka November 18, 1950 64 years Mt. Juilet, TN
Texas George H.W. and Barbara Bush January 6, 1945 70 years College Park, TX
Utah Chester and Esther Memmott November 23, 1936 78 years Scipio, Utah
Vermont Robert & Geraldine Sausville April 19, 1942 72 years Bennington, VT
Virginia Theodore & Edna Korol May 31, 1940 74 years Charlottesville, VA
Washington - Clarence & Ruth Rogers June 18, 1939 75 years Yakima, WA
West Virginia Thomas and Pauline Feorene October 23, 1948 66 years Fairmont, WV
Wisconsin Herman & Madeline Neinas October 14, 1936 78 years New Franken, WI
Wyoming Frank & Viola Stulc November 21, 1945 69 years Basin, WY

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 13th, 2015 by in

2015 Longest Married Couple Project Winners Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

front-page, WWME In The News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 2, 2015

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 2015 Longest Married Couple Project. They are Dale & Alice Rockey of Olathe, KS. The Rockeys have been married 81 years as of Dec. 29, 2014.

Over 375 nominations were received for this year’s project. The winners from individual states will be announced on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. This is the fifth year for the nationwide project.

"It is truly a privilege and honor to recognize Dale and Alice Rockey 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 at the beginning of the Valentine’s week on Feb. 7th in their hometown of Olathe," they added. The Peknys serve with Fr. Rocky Grimard, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement.

The Rockeys were married Dec. 29, 1933. They met in a small Nebraska town when they were teenagers. They were dating other people, but one Sunday Dale spotted Alice on the street and asked if she would like to go for a ride. The rest, as the Rockeys say, is history – marriage history.

The Kansas 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 10th 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 or they chose not to be recognized for their marriage achievements,” 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. & Mrs. Rockey are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 81 years ago and they have kept that commitment. They truly are an inspiration and sign of hope to all of us," the Peknys said.

The national winners have five sons along with grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. The presentation of gifts and acknowledgments to the Rockeys will be made on Feb. 7th at the Good Samaritan Society in Olathe.

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

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 46 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 909/332-7309.

Media inquires should be directed to:

Dick & Diane Baumbach at either

321-544-3440 or

dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

published Feb 07th, 2015 by in

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
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