A Kansas couple have been recognized by the California-based group Worldwide Marriage Encounter as the longest-running married couple in the United States.
According to Alice Rockey, the couple’s secret to their incredible 81-year-long run is very simple. “I always let him have my way”, she explained.
Alice and her husband Dale, now both 99, recall that their decades-long romance began completely by chance. One evening they had planned to go on a double date, each dating another person. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Dale and Alice Rockey, both 99, have weathered 81 years together and won a competition for longest-running marriage Saturday.
2. The couple had their first date on an evening when they planned to go out with other people, but Dale arrived early and took Alice for a drive.
Dale drove to Alice’s house early that evening, while his date was still at work. He found her sitting by herself on the porch, according to The Kansas City Star. Alice told the paper:
He came by and says, “You want to go for a ride?”. So we went for a ride, and that was our first date.
Alice and Dale later found themselves “in the doghouse” with their original dates, but they never regretted their decision to get an early start on things.
3. The Rockeys paid $2 for their marriage license back in 1933 and honeymooned in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
4. The Rockeys’ five sons are still marriage to their spouses, even as they reach their seventies, and credit their parents’ influence.
On December 29, 1933, Alice married Dale, “one of the handsomest guys in town”, in Nebraska, paying $2 for a marriage license.
The couple made their home in a two-room apartment in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
At the time, Dale worked at a garage which once belonged to his dad and Alice had a job with bodybuilding magazine Iron Man. The couple would eventually have five sons together.
5. The couple moved into a two-room apartment in Kansas near one of their sons, where they live a ‘fancy-free’ life.
Alice and Dale beat out 375 other couple to win the prize as the longest-married couple in the United States.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter presented the Rockeys with the award at a ceremony on Saturday — the highlight of the 2015 Longest Married Couple Project.
The couple’ children may one day have a shot at the prize themselves, as they are still together with their spouses as well. One of their sons, 79-year-old son Tom Rockey, said:
That’s probably the good example set by our parents.
6. Alice and Dale on being recognized as the longest-running married couple in the United States for 2015.
The Rockeys retired in 1979 and traveled to “all the southern states”, as their sons added grandchildren and then great-grandchildren appeared as well. Now Alice and Dale even have great-great-grandchildren.
When household chores like mowing the lawn became too difficult for the aging couple to manage on their own, Alice and Dale moved into son Tom’s house in Olathe, Kansas. The Rockeys now share another two-room apartment.
Alice explained that she and her husband spend their days in a “fancy-free” way, going out for breakfast, doing crossword puzzles and waxing nostalgic.
Dick and Diane Baumbach, of the faith-based marriage-enrichment organization Worldwide Marriage Encounter, say that their project amazes only outsiders. Dick Baumbach explained:
When we meet with these people and honor them, they look at us like, “What’s the big deal?”
Well, it is quite an achievement, any way you look at it.
7. John and Ann Betar were recognized as the longest-running married couple in the United States for 2014, also after 81 years together — a Reuters report.
Source: The Kansas City Star.
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