Louisiana’s 2014 Marriage Hall of Fame
Complete Pictures and Bios Coming soon!
Norman and Norma Burmah of Marksville – 83 years
Introduced by a close friend, Norman and Norma Burmah met at the “Roof Garden Dance Hall” in New Orleans during a live performance by Louis Armstrong playing their theme song “What a Wonderful World.” They were married shortly thereafter on January 26, 1931, and the two have remained inseparable.
“Maw” and “Paw,” as their family fondly calls them, begin each day in prayer. Norma claims that she’s a “young 100” and continues to prove this through her love for parties and her independent trip to France only years ago. Norma has never driven a day in her life! However, Norman is not shy of his achievements adding that he drove until he was 97 and rode his first jet-ski at 92! While he’s a student of politics, football and game shows, she’s a fan of “Lawrence Welk” and enjoys old movies. They created a livelihood together, operating a thriving catering business inspired by their Creole heritage.
They lived in New Orleans until 2005, and, to this day, they both remain deeply devoted New Orleans Saints fans! After tragically losing their home during Hurricane Katrina, the Burmahs moved to Marksville, La. At 97 years of age, Norman proudly purchased their new home where they independently live along with their prize Rooster, “Jindal.”
They have been blessed with a healthy family consisting of two children, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren!
LFF honored this couple in their home in Marksville on Valentine’s Day. Click here for more details.
Placide and Emily Moran of Port Barre – 77 years
Placide Moran (known as “Papa” to most everyone), 98, and his wife Emily Marks Moran, 93, celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in December 2013. They met in 1936 at a large Cajun style reunion and after a short courtship, were married in Arnaudville, LA on December 12, 1936, where they lived until 1944. Their first home was built by their own hands from timber they cut and dried themselves. This being the time of The Great Depression, the early years of marriage were trying and difficult, but they worked side by side every day to make a move to Port Barre, LA and build a successful life for themselves and their children.
Placide farmed and managed many acres of land. Emily helped to farm the land, managed to raise four children, and maintain what the grandchildren call “the most orderly home in the world”. Devout Catholics, the Moran’s are members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Port Barre, LA.
Together they raised four children, Rodney Moran who now lives in Texas, Versie Moran Hebert of Rayne, LA, Charles Moran and Blaine Moran, both who still reside in Port Barre, LA. They have seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
They witnessed the depression and watched the moon landing on television (which Placide still says was all a fake). Both Placide and Emily agree that the secrets of a long successful marriage are devotion to The Lord Jesus Christ, dedication and unconditional love to their family and “to get on and ride ‘til the wheels fall off.”ised their children, worked hard and have now retired. They now comfortably live at Senior Village in Opelousas, LA.
Edward and Hilda Guedry of Lake Charles – 74 years
I can remember when we first met. Ed was a very good dancer, and we were both at a Saturday night dance at a pavilion in Napoleonville, La. He asked me to dance, and I was so happy.
Well, we have been dancing together ever since. He is still a good dancer, but a little slower. After a few years of “courting,” we married, had a daughter, then it all changed, for World War ll started, and Ed was drafted.
He served in the army’s 41st Infantry division, stationed in the Philippines. He vividly remembers sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, heading for duty, and wondering if he would ever make it back home. My memory of that time was sadness and fear, for I was left alone with our daughter, and unsure of the future.
That is actually when I fell in love with the song “I left my heart in San Francisco”, appropriately, so I still love that song. Well, Ed did return, and we settled down in Port Allen, had another daughter, and shared a very fulfilled life there.
After 39 years, Ed retired from Exxon. He was an avid golfer and still plays a little. I became a painter, taught myself piano, as well as, played golf. We both loved traveling. As a hobby, Ed has made little birdhouses for everyone he knows.
I am into my computer and iPhone and love learning new things.
Now in our golden years, we are living in our home in Brusly, surrounded by family and friends. We are grateful for our 2 daughters, our 6 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren, as well as each other.
We are hoping for a few more anniversaries, God willing!
Wendell and Mary Hall of Slidell – 74 years
JT and Ruby Halley of Baker – 74 year
97 (J.T.) & 94 (Ruby) As told by their daughter, Rebecca:
Their love story started at StartBaptistChurch, Start, LA. Daddy was serving as Training Union Director; Mother was there with the Baptist Children’s Home, Monroe, La., as a pianist presenting a program with the girls’ quartet.
After the program, Daddy made a statement, “That girl can cook my biscuits anytime she wants.” In six months time they were married, on October 29, 1939. They had an outside wedding in front of the Superintendent’s home of the Baptist Children’s home.
J.T. & Ruby started their family in September 1940, and had 4 daughters and 1 son. Today, they have 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, 3 great, great grandchildren.
Early in their married life Daddy was employed by Illinois Central Railroad and was also Home-guard during WWII. Mother was a very loving, devoted companion, mother and home maker.
Daddy surrendered to the Baptist ministry and was ordained as a Southern Baptist Preacher in 1947. Together, they served our Lord & Savior and retired from the ministry after 37 years. “My ministry has been varied, and but for a good and loving wife and children, it would have been most hectic,” said J.T. Halley.
Daddy and Mother’s ministry on the church fields was not only in the pulpit, but service through piano, choir, Sunday School, Training Union, Vacation Bible School, Bible Study, WMU, comforting the lonely and sad, rejoicing with the happiness of weddings and babies. Also, nourishing others with their hands through gardening, canning, quilting, cooking and caring however they could be used in helping others.
After living through the depression and some tough times, a real dream came true. In 1967, they were able to purchase a lot and build the very first home of their own, where they still reside today together. Praise the Lord! They both worked for the State of Louisiana, retiring after 23 years for J.T. & 16 years for Ruby.
Those that have had the opportunity to know them are truly blessed! Their home was always open, and mother always had coffee and food to share. Their lives lived service! They loved their family deeply and cared for them with all their hearts. They remained faithful through their journey of life that God laid before them, as they still are today. They start and end each day with prayer and bible reading and will not hesitate to tell you, but for the Grace of God we would not be here today! J.T. & Ruby remain, If God be for us, who can be against us. Romans 8:31.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10.
Thank you for this blessful opportunity!
John and Dorothy Marchese of Metairie – 74 years
Their first date was a double date, and after that, John asked Dorothy out. They enjoyed dancing all the dances-the shag, swing, charleston, bunny hop. “We were good at it.” They continued to go out and fell in love quickly. But because they were of different faiths (John is Catholic; Dorothy is Lutheran), it was hard to get married. They were told that this marriage would not last.
“Eventually a priest married us in his parlor. The cost to marry was $11.00, which was exactly what John had in his pocket. So we married on September 2, 1939. We had our honeymoon at a friend’s house. We lived in New Orleans on Frenchman Street then moved to Metairie, where we have lived for the last 50 years.”
John worked for the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Department for over 22 years, and Dorothy worked at L. Frank and Company, where they both retired and are enjoying their golden years. John was the Organizer and Captain of the St. Patricks Parade of Jefferson for the last 43 years, but he decided to step down just last year. To show thanks and appreciation for John’s commitment, the organization decided to crown John and Dorothy as King and Queen of the parade.
We have 3 children, 9 Grandchildren and 20 Great Grandchildren. Together we are “ONE.” We continue to enjoy every moment as we make new memories. We are blessed in every way, every day.
Their Song is “You belong to My Heart” by Bing Crosby. John would sing this to Dorothy all the time. With John being Italian, he loves to sing all the Italian songs and sings to Dorothy all the time, and to this day, he will be asked to sing and will do so especially at family gatherings.
Joe and Ida Tryniecki of Amite – 74 years
Joseph A. Tryniecki, better known as Joe, 95, and his wife Ida Balsano Tryniecki, 93, celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary November 19, 2013. They were married at St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite, LA (where they presently reside). They are the proud parents of four children who have blessed them with 11 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren and 2 more to arrive by early March.
Joe and Ida met in 1937 when Joe, a young Polish man, from St. Louis, Missouri, travelled down Hwy 51 in search of employment. His travels brought him to Amite where he found a job as the first auto body repair man at Brumfield Motor Co. Ida, was a 17 year old Italian girl, working at the local movie theater and her parents’ a grocery store. Their love for dancing brought them to the local American Legend Hall where they met for the very first time. Later, a chance encounter, at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, brought them together again where they discovered they had other mutual “likes” and friends. Joe, living on his own, with a small income, was very happy when Ida volunteered to wash his clothes and darn his worn out socks for him. The love of dancing and ice cream and the darning of the socks lit the spark, which ignited the flame of love.
After their marriage in 1939, Joe and Ida lived in New Orleans during the war, so that Joe could use his expertise of welding at the Avondale shipyard. They then returned to Amite to build a home and raise a family. Their love story continues…..
George and Laura Harris – 73 years
After having met through a mutual friend at a crawfish dinner while attending LSU, George and Laura Claire Harris dated 2 years before being married at the old Sacred Heart Church in Baton Rouge on April 4, 1940.
They rented a small house for their first two years, but when the rent went up $2.50, they decided to build a house where they still live to this day. George did accounting at night for a number of local businesses to save up and buy their first car, an Oldsmobile, affectionately known as the “Old Brown Bomb.”
Together, they belonged to several dance clubs, enjoyed traveling across the country and remember seeing one of the first TVs in a shop window while in New York. With their deep faith and trust in the Lord, they have both been very involved in volunteer work with several Christian ministries and their church, First New Testament, as well as, opened their home to traveling missionaries.
Laura who received her master’s in music in 1938 taught piano in various schools and provided private lessons for over 55 years. She was a charter member of Baton Rouge Piano Teacher’s Association and created a number of piano contests for her and other’s students. She also enjoys painting.
George, who graduated LSU in 1939 in accounting, went back to work for Exxon (45 years) and helped start the Exxon Federal Credit Union (1934) and even did the books out of his house for a short time. He was involved in the national board of Credit Unions and received the keys to the City of Monroe after helping start a Credit Union in the City Monroe.
He spent several years making fancy doll houses to mimic plantations, family homes and other special houses for family and friends. They are very proud of their 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great children, which are all very close.
Robert Rudolph and Irene Stafford – 73 years
Irene Marie (Larose) Stafford, our mom, was born August 11, 1919 and Robert Rudolph Stafford, our dad was born November 8, 1916 (oddly 8/11 and 11/8). Mom and dad celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary last year (2013) on June 7th.
Mom was raised in Lockport, Louisiana. Her parents are Vital Larose and Marguerite Guidry Larose. Dad was raised in Walker, Louisiana (Corbin, Louisiana back in those days). His parents are John Wiley Stafford and Birdie Womack Stafford.
Our dad was hired by Standard Oil (which later became Amoco and now part of BP) and was assigned to a field in the Lockport area (ironically in the Valentine Field). He stayed in a boarding house which was near a small restaurant where he would get his lunch that was prepared ahead of time and awaiting in a brown bag. Our mom worked there which is how they met. He would go there when he could hoping mom would be working at that time. Many meals later, and a lot of convincing, he finally won her favor.
They became one on June 7th, 1940. As the years passed, they would move to each oilfield assignment – anywhere from Raymondville to Clarkwood to Kountze and finally back to Louisiana. Those were tough days, far from home. Many times dad would be “on the job” in the field, and mom was “on the job” at home caring for her home and family. They retired in 1984, after 47 years with Amoco. They taught us all about team work and dedication to what is important. Dad provided what we needed, but also gave us the space to learn to be self-sufficient and independent. Mom showed us how to share and care, and always with love and a sprinkle of laughter and joy.
During those years they raised five children: Donald, Kenneth, Carolyn, Charles and Bob – which in turn led to many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. They are the cement that holds us all together. We are blessed to still have the benefit of seeing their relentless and unbreakable bond to each other. After all those years and all that they went through and gave up for their family, the light still shines from the beauty and value of what they mean to each other, to us, and to anyone who has had the honor to know them. We can all say– we love you mom and dad. No one could have ever set a better example or road for us to follow.
Dr. Carl and Minnie Kelly of Benton – 73 years
LFF Honors America’s Longest Married Couple
For Immediate Release: February 14th, 2014Baton Rouge, La.—Louisiana Family Forum will honor Norman and Norma Burmah, Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple, at a special Valentine’s Day reception in their home in Marksville, La., to celebrate 83 years of marriage.In 2013, the Burmahs were identified as the nation’s Longest Known Married Couple at 82 years.“We are excited that Louisiana is home to the nation’s Longest Married Couple,” Gene Mills, President of Louisiana Family Forum, said. “This is no surprise. Louisiana is a state that values lifelong, loving marriage and the joys of family! What good news to celebrate authentic examples of a Godly covenant marriage.”The Burmahs, America’s Top Covenant Keepers, will receive an Official Statement of Special Recognition from Gov. Bobby Jindal, which will be read by state Rep. Robert Johnson, and be entered into LFF’s “2014 Marriage Hall of Fame.” The Burmah’s extended family and friends will be present to celebrate their honorable lifetime achievement. The couple will be presented with, among other gifts, a bouquet of flowers courtesy of Germean’s Flowers and Gifts and a new orange tree to replace their former one damaged by the recent cold weather.
Norman and Norma Burmah, respectively 103 and 100 years old, met at the “Roof Garden Dance Hall” in New Orleans during a live performance of Louis Armstrong, playing their theme song “What a Wonderful World.” They were married shortly thereafter on January 26, 1931, and the two have remained inseparable.
“Maw” and “Paw,” as their family fondly calls them, begin each day in prayer. Norma claims that she’s a “young 100” and continues to prove this through her love for parties and her independent trip to France only years ago. Norma has never driven a day in her life! However, Norman is not shy of his achievements adding that he drove until he was 97 and rode his first jet-ski at 92! While he’s a student of politics and football, she’s a fan of “Lawrence Welk” and enjoys old movies. They created a livelihood together, operating a thriving catering business inspired by their Creole heritage.
They lived in New Orleans until 2005, and, to this day, they both remain deeply devoted New Orleans Saints fans! After tragically losing their home during Hurricane Katrina, the Burmahs moved to Marksville, La. At 97 years of age, Norman proudly purchased their new home where they independently live along with their prized Rhode Island Red Rooster, “Jindal.”
They have been blessed with a healthy family consisting of two children, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren!
“Congratulations to Norman and Norma Burmah for your incredible 83-year journey! You inspire and challenge us, and we celebrate your ‘wonderful world’ together,’” Gene Mills, President of LFF, said. “May our marriages be blessed with the love, patience, grace and endurance that you’ve shown us.”
Every year during National Marriage Week, Feb. 7th to the 14th, LFF honors the longest married couples found in the state of Louisiana. LFF celebrates life-long marriage and embraces the opportunity to honor couples who have exemplified devotion in their marriage covenant.
- Placide and Emily Moran of Porte Barre – 77 years
- Edward and Hilda Guedry of Lake Charles – 74 years
- Wendell and Mary Hall of Slidell – 74 years
- JT and Ruby Halley of Baker – 74 years
- John and Dorothy Marchese of Metairie – 74 years
- Joe and Ida Tryniecki of Amite – 74 years
- George and Laura Harris – 73 years
- Robert Rudolph and Irene Stafford – 73 years
- Dr. Carl and Minnie Kelly of Benton – 73 years