In Events, Featured, Marriage

2015 Top Ten Longest Married Couples in Louisiana

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The Governor’s Office  KTBS  Shreveport Times  WAFB 

Hometown Productions VIDEO

Photos of the Governor’s Reception (Provided by Red Stick Media)

Lawrence and Varrie Player of Benton, 80 Years


Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) is excited to announce that Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Varrie Player are Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple for 2015. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Player, for 80 beautiful years! The Players are lifelong residents of their family’s property in Benton, Louisiana. They met in 1925 and were married by the age of 21 and 15, respectively. They now have eight living children, 35 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. What a legacy! LFF endeavors to remind Louisiana decision makers and couples young and old that marriage is a covenant among three parties; the bride, her groom their God! Marriage not only “works” but it has power to produce legacy, loyalty and love for a lifetime.

See a Video of their story:

George and Laura Harris of Baton Rouge, 74 years

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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.

Carl and Minnie Kelly of Benton, 74 years

Joseph and Felicie Rogillio of Rosedale, 73 years

Felicie and Joseph (Jack) RogillioJoseph C. (Jack) Rogillio and Felicie Langlois were married on April 18, 1941 in Baton Rouge, LA.  Felicie lived in Lobdell, LA on Catherine Plantation. Jack was from Baton Rouge and was in the Army. Jack had come home on furlough and was to soon return to the army base so they decided to elope. They went across the Mississippi River into Baton Rouge and Judge James Womack preformed the ceremony in his chambers.

When WWII began, Jack Rogillio went to war. He was sent to England with Service Company, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) serving with Service Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles).serving with Service Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles).serving with Service Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles).and parachuted into combat at Normandy, and The Rogillios leave Louisiana for Indonesia, 1956Holland, then was in the Battle of Bastogne.

After the war Jack returned to Baton Rouge where he worked at the ESSO refinery. In 1955, Jack joined Standard Vacuum and was assigned jobs around the world. He and Felicie raised their three children in Indonesia, the Phillipines, and back home in Louisiana.

The Rogillios now reside in Rosedale, LA on the same street as their oldest daughter, Rachael, and their son. Joe. Another daughter, Jacquelyn, lives in Tennessee.

Albert and Margaret Broas of Marrero, 73 years

Charles and Rita Serio of Morganza, 72 years

Ma and Pa 72nd Wedding Anniversary Pic 1It has been said, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”  For Mr. and Mrs. Charles Serio, better known as Maw and Paw or Mr. Charlie and Mrs. Rita, a couple married for the past 72 years, this quote has become a lifelong dream come true.  For you see, they were childhood sweethearts who fell in love in the sixth grade over a box of sparklers, and still today they enjoy being together honoring the covenant of sacramental love!
Married on May 16, 1942, in Morganza, Louisiana, while Mr. Charlie was on a ten-day furlough from the military, this couple committed to becoming visible signs of God to their family and friends.  This loving union of husband and wife speaks loudly of their family values!!  Some of these blessings include spending summer vacations at the beach with their three children and their spouses, four grandchildren and their spouses, and their eight great-grandchildren, touring such places as the Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Italy, Sicily, France, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, England, Israel and Jerusalem with family and friends, dancing to their favorite songs of the 1940’s, and hosting family gatherings on Sundays and special holidays!  They can often be found teaming up in the kitchen with Maw doing the cooking and Paw washing the dishes.  This dynamic duo has a special place in the hearts of many who know them.  Their eagerness to share stories of the past with family and friends makes visiting with them truly a privilege and an honor!

This humble couple has been other centered their entire lives.  Maw can be found every morning in quiet meditation with her little homemade prayer book which includes special prayer cards and pictures of her children and their families.  For you see, she prays for each one by name on a daily basis.  Prayers for close friends and other relatives are also included in her little book!  Paw served our country during WWII from 1941-45 in the US Army as forward observer in the 995th Field Artillery Battalion.  He was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery.Ma and Pa Wedding Pic
Mrs. Serio is well known throughout the parish of Pointe Coupee for her meticulous skills in the art of sewing.  She can often be found mending, altering or even making garments for local friends and her church parish, while Mr. Serio delights in the skill of carpentry restoring antiques, designing furniture for his children and grandchildren and also helping neighbors with odd jobs around their homes.  Both continue to be active in St. Ann’s Catholic Church parish, as well as, the community of the Village of Morganza.  They have participated in the Senior Olympics often being gold and silver medalists in their respective categories.  So, what might we say can be identified as the glue in this successful marriage?  Well, it is a mixture of prayer, family and a simple life style which allows time for this special couple to continue falling in love time and time again!  Maw and Paw, Mrs. Rita and Mr. Charlie, or Mr. and Mrs. Serio, whatever name one knows them by, truly have been an inspiration and great model of the sacrament of marriage to many!  May God reign down HIS blessings on them, as they recall the joy of many memories that they have made together over the years!

Arnold and Olga Jones of Junction City, 72 years

JonesArnold Jones and Olga Wells met in Junction City when he was 18 and she was 16.  He was raised in the Hollygrove community, attending Summerfield High School, and she grew up in Junction City, LA.  They eloped with another couple, and were married in Norphlet, AR, on July 10, 1942.  Their entire married life has been lived on the Stateline Road in Junction City.

Arnold was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served 25 months in the European Theatre.   Their son, Arnold Douglas Jones, Jr., was born while he was serving in Europe.  Their daughter, Karen,  was born a year after he returned home.

Olga is a homemaker, taking care of the home and family, and Arnold pursued a career in the sawmill business.  He worked at  Reynolds Draper Lumber Company, which became Georgia Pacific Lumber Company for 43 years.  As manager, he became well-known for his expertise in his field.  He developed a method for drying export lumber, gaining recognition in the European market.

The family is active in First Baptist Church of Junction City.   Arnold serves as a deacon, and is still the go-to person when anything needs to be done at the church or parsonage.  He has been a member of the city council for 16 years.

Arnold enjoys caring for the home, cutting grass, trimming trees, and taking care of needs at the church or city.  Olga enjoys keeping the house and cooking wonderful meals.  Her family looks forward to her dumplings and hot water cornbread.

Their son, Doug  (Donna), lives in Little Rock, and daughter, Karen Smith (Melvin), lives in Junction City.  They have four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

It is a joy to see the love and devotion that is present after 73 years, and the admiration for this couple by friends and family.

Charles and Helen Simon of Mansura, 72 years

Simon Anniversary Charles Simon and Helen Dupuis met at a gathering spot for teenagers called the “Pop In” located in Mansura, Louisiana.  On Sunday nights, they would gather to visit with friends and dance where the girls were chaperoned by their mothers.  Charles finally asked Helen to dance under the watchful Simon Wedding 1942eye of her mother, eventually dancing with no one else as the weeks progressed.

They were married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on August 2, 1942.  Charles was drafted into the    US Army in October, 1942.  Four years later, Charles was discharged and returned home.  Together they raised eight children; five boys and three girls.  The hardest part of their lives was losing two of their children to illness.

In addition to their eight children, they have 22 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren with another due in April and 2 great-great grandchildren. Charles and Helen continue to live in their home which was purchased in 1957.


John and Eileen Stannard of Leesville, 72 years

Joe and Eloise Marler of Otis, 71 years

Joe & Eloise Marler Sr. taken Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 002Eloise and Joe Marler Sr. first met at her mother’s house in Medford, Oregon.
“It was in the early part of 1942,” Eloise said. “He was in the CCC — the Civilian Conservation Corps.” The CCC was a public work relief program from 1933 to 1942 for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. “What the CCC was — they built roads, they built bridges and set out pine trees,” Joe explained.
“My mother used to cook and invite lonesome, homesick boys to the house for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Sunday meals and one of the boys who had been coming brought Joe,” she said. “Mama had four girls, so both boys always liked to come.” Joe, who is from Otis, Louisiana, had eventually ended up in Medford, Ore., while working in the CCC. Eloise was 14 at the time, the youngest in her family; Joe was 18. Joe came to the house many times before they began dating, Eloise recalled.
“And when we did go on dates, my mama was always with us,” she said. “Mama chaperoned us everywhere we went, to the concerts in the park, Sunday afternoons, Mama was with us,” she said. “Nothing wrong with that,” Joe added. The New Deal CCC program was Roosevelt’s way to fight the Great Depression but at that time another fight had started as well — World War II.
In July of 1942, Eloise turned 15 while Joe turned 19. Joe left the CCC to go to work helping build an Army training base at Camp White, Ore., needed for WWII. “We just dated and went together,” she said.
Then, Eloise’s sister was going to get married and Joe asked Eloise if she would make it a double wedding. They were married May 1, 1943, in the living room of a home in Medford. The couple planned to move to Louisiana but those plans were hurried up when Joe received his draft notice. The couple arrived by train in June to Louisiana and Joe reported in Lafayette for induction into the U.S. Navy on July 1, which was Eloise’s 16th birthday. As for any advice on marriage, Eloise said, “I’d just say, just hang in there. You’re going to have your ups and downs. And big decisions, just talk it over, whether it’s money or every other big decision, always talk it over.”
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