Totally Off Topic- Oldest Living Married Couple

by kcurly on March 11, 2010

in Totally Off Topic

From this link. It’s so sweet!

Couple Maintains World Record for Longest Marriage

After 85 years, husband and wife say there’s no secret to their longevity

In a day when marriages begin and end with the greatest of ease, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher are a rarity. The James City, N.C., husband and wife have been wed 85 years and hold the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of a living couple.

Banners and signs celebrating that record decorate the front lawn of their ranch-style home. They’ve captured the attention of newspapers, magazines and websites everywhere. And just recently, they received a signed commendation from President Obama with a promise of an official invitation to the White House to meet him.

The hoopla over their accomplishment doesn’t faze them at all. Zelmyra, 101, scorns the idea that there’s some secret to the longevity of their marriage. “No secrets,” she says. “There isn’t any secret. It was only God that kept us together.”

Herbert, 104, is amazed at their longevity. “I didn’t know I would be married this long,” he says. The retired Coca-Cola Bottling Co. mechanic still has a sharp mind, though his hearing is failing. Revered as a hard-working husband and father, Herbert built the family home in 1942, and he and his wife still reside there. His diligence and aggressive saving paid for the college educations of the couple’s five children. They also have 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Their granddaughter Iris Godette is responsible for arranging the Guinness recognition. In 2005, after seeing a TV news report about a couple married for 75 years, she was motivated to research how long her grandparents had been hitched. After poring over records at the county Register of Deeds, she found that they had been married for 81 years. But when she submitted an application to Guinness, another couple who had been married just a few months longer held the record. Godette resubmitted the application in 2008, and that year they officially became the world’s longest-married couple still living.

Besides family, God and the church have been ever-present in the Fishers’ lives. They have maintained memberships at separate houses of worship during their marriage. She belongs to Jones Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; he’s a member of Pilgrim Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Both are in James City, the close-knit community where they grew up together.

Despite separate church memberships, their hearts stay connected. Through the ups and downs of marriage, neither has ever considered divorce. Zelmyra adamantly opposes the idea of divorce and remarriage. “I didn’t know it would be as long as it is now,” she says of her 85 years with the same man. “I knew that I wouldn’t be looking for another husband.”

Zelmyra doesn’t attribute her long, vibrant life to healthy eating, exercise or costly nutritional supplements. Her efforts have been focused on her inner person and building relationships with others. “[You have to] know how to talk to people,” she says. “Try to treat everyone right.”

The centenarians have a loving understanding of each other and enjoy a simple life. They are fond of television news programs, and Herbert especially likes watching his favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. They also take pleasure in sitting on their front porch to watch neighbors come and go and railroad trains whisk by.

“I think it is a blessing first that two people can ultimately love each other, respect each other and still want to be each other’s friend,” Godette says. “These days, you just don’t hear of a couple that stays together so long. They took those vows, ‘till death do us part,’ seriously. They have weathered the storms. There were good times and bad times, but they stuck it out.”

Those bad times include the lean years of the Great Depression when Herbert worked for as little as a nickel a day. They had to raise their own food and ration it for their young children. Perhaps those difficult years bonded and empowered them to remain married for so long.

“They cherish each other,” Godette continues. “If they had to be apart, their lives wouldn’t be as fruitful. … They are connected. They are soul mates.”



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  • zionderu

    Love this article…inspirational

  • kisha

    black love is a beautiful thang! i wont be breakin that record, lol.

  • Shones

    Warms my heart! Thank you for sharing this story. My DH and I are mere babes w/almost eight years of marriage. Beautiful story!

  • Shelia

    This is such a inspirational story. I love to see black love!!! My husband and I will celebrate on 19th wedding anniversary this May.. God is Good!!!!

  • Cammyb

    God willing that’ll be me and my husband someday. That’s if I don’t wack him before then lol.

  • OnceUponaTime

    Being centenarians is already something to talk about, and I can only imagine what they’ve seen in their lives. Their marriage is truly a blessing and an inspiration to us young uns! I loved this: “I knew that I wouldn’t be looking for another husband.”

  • Fleurzty

    Beautiful! I cannot even envision living to be 85, now to be married 85 YEARS! The Lord is good! Hubby and I have been married 5 years, and it feels like so much time sometimes lol. Not that I don’t love it, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but in Hollywood time, that’s a lifetime :)

    I can only imagine the fun you have in 85 years together. The deep knowledge of each other. I love that they still keep in touch with themselves. Separate churches their entire lives mean they were willing to compromise to make their marriage work, as I’m sure someone thought their church should be it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alice
  • Maniesha

    This is sooo beautiful to see!! :)

  • Melinda

    WOW, what a beautiful story, Thank you for sharing with us. Here I was thinking that my parents were doing well being married for 51 years in August.

  • http://none Anthony & Carmen Brown

    we are truely inspired by this story, we have been married for nine years (9) and we feel every day that we were just married a month ago, I guess that is how these folks feel, to be able to spend 85 years married to each other, they must have made things really exciting for each other. May the Lord continue to bless you both and I hope that we will be able to stay married to each other for that many years or more . You have shown us that people can stay married till death do they part. Thank you for living God’s sacred intent for marriage and not just a human contract.
    Thank you, with love Anthony & Carmen

  • http://none Anthony & Carmen Brown

    that is just awsome

  • paula

    This is a really beautiful story! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Chandra

    Woooow, now that is inspiration! I am so glad you posted this. So many people give up so easily on their marriages. People just don’t keep their promises to each other like they use to. Obviously these two lovely people remembered the promises that they made to their spouse, and to God before witnesses. My husband and I were married at 22 years of age, and we will be celebrating our 13 year wedding anniversary next month! I am excited about this, and will be passing it on, we need to see more great news like this, regarding the success of marriage.

  • Kim

    This is a lovely thing, when God is in the mist; any and everything is possible.. May God keep on blessing this marriage.

  • shawn

    My grandma and grandpa have been married for 60 years now

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