marriage-hof-v5-1

Marriage is one of the greatest institutions ever devised by the Creator. Healthy marriages are the cornerstone of healthy families, the foundation for raising productive children, and a great blessing to the man, woman, and any children or grandchildren involved.

Each year LFF honors Louisiana’s longest-known married couples, as an effort to encourage healthy marriages, build stronger cultural support for the institution of marriage, and to remind Louisiana that lifelong marriage benefits everyone.

LFF is proud to announce that Wallace and Gladys Menard, last year’s Longest Married Couple, again won the title in 2020!  The Menard’s celebrated their 81st Anniversary on September 17th, 2019!

2020 Longest Married Couple

Wallace and Gladys met at a dance hall in Abbeville, Louisiana in the summer of 1937. Wallace would ride his bicycle all the way from Lafayette to Abbeville to see his lovely lady every Saturday night until they married September 17, 1938. After getting married at ages 19 (Wallace) and 16 (Gladys), the two lived in Lafayette as farmers. They farmed and sharecropped the land they were living on, making $10 a year on the cotton. For a while, Wallace and Gladys had no electricity, no indoor bathroom, and no car — just a horse and buggy for transportation.

On July 15, 1939, after being married for about a year, Gladys gave birth to their first child, John Wilbert Menard. Following John, their second and third children were born, Robert Joseph Menard and Mary Grace Menard.

In November of 1944, Wallace was drafted into the Navy to serve during WWII. Nine men in his platoon, including Wallace, were plagued with the mumps during their time of service. For Wallace, this resulted in a loss of hearing, which led to his discharge from the Navy after only 7 months.

In 1963, years after Wallace’s return from the Service, he and Gladys built their home in Judice, Louisiana, where they are currently living today. In order to build their home, Wallace worked for a charity hospital making $30 a month and Gladys worked for a local grocer making $1.50 an hour.

After settling in their home, Wallace went to work for the Service Chevrolet as a mechanic for 25 years, and later took over his father-in-law’s school bus route for Lafayette Parish. Sometime after, he opened his own mechanic shop at their home in Judice and worked there until his retirement. Upon retirement, they were able to finish raising their children. As their family continues to grow, Wallace and Gladys are blessed to be able to know and love their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even their great-great-grandchildren!

The Runners-Up!

GAIL & PATSY RICHARDSON – GONZALES – MARRIED: SEPTEMBER 1, 1940 – 79 YEARS

Gail is 100 and Patsy is 98 years old! Patsy recalls that on their first date, Gail took her fishing. Their lines got tangled and they’ve been together ever since!

Gail, a World War II veteran, was in the medical corps, traveled overseas in the hospital unit, and later moved into infantry. Their oldest child was only six months old when Gail left for the service.

Gail and Patsy’s marriage was more than a joining of two hearts, it was a joining of two faiths. Gail attends First Baptist Church Gonzales and Patsy goes to St. Mark’s Catholic Church. Patsy says people told them they would never make it, but here they are, still together after 79 years! She says that they’ve always respected one another’s faith and it has never caused problems. Communication is key, according to Patsy.

For Gail, age is just a number. “You’re only as old as think you are, and I don’t think I’m very old,” he says.

The Richardsons have two sons and one daughter who is deceased, 16 grandchildren (one deceased), 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

LARON & VIOLET WATERS – ALEXANDRIA – MARRIED: MARCH 22, 1941 – 78 YEARS

The courtship of Laron and Violet Waters began 87 years ago on a dirt road in central Arkansas. As a young man, only 10 years old, Laron carried the books of Violet Moore to their 5th-grade classroom. He knew in his heart that she was the one for him and after high school graduation they married.

Laron served in the military for three years and then after coming back to Arkansas, the two began a family. Their two boys Ronnie and Danny were born in Little Rock and after a career change in 1950, they moved to Alexandria, Louisiana and two girls, Sharon and Karen, completed their family. Laron, a builder, and contractor, and Violet, the “home” maker, traveled extensively throughout the United States building houses and even a church in New Orleans.

Now after 78 years of marriage and 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren they have exampled a heritage of love and commitment. This example has set a standard and thankfully, at this time, there has not been a divorce in any of their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Currently, this amazing couple still live alone in their home in Alexandria, Louisiana and with good fortune, they may make one more trip to Branson to celebrate their wedding date!

ARNOLD & OLGA JONES – LILLIE – MARRIED: JULY 10, 1942 – 77 YEARS

Arnold 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. Arnold carved a small indention in his rifle to hold Olga’s photo, and that photo has remained in his wallet ever since he returned from the war. His wallet was washed recently and he was so afraid his photo was ruined, but it remained intact-good sealer on it!

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 the 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 17 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 daily. 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 77 years and the admiration for this couple by friends and family.

CHARLES & HELEN SIMON – HESSMER – MARRIED: AUGUST 2, 1942 – 77 YEARS

Charles Simon and Helen Dupuis met in Mansura, Louisiana at a gathering spot for teenagers called the “Pop In.” On Sunday nights, they would visit with friends and dance (the girls were chaperoned by their mothers!). Charles finally asked Helen to dance under the watchful eye of her mother. As the weeks progressed, he danced with no one else!

They were married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on August 2, 1942. Charles was drafted into the U.S. Army that October. 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, Charles and Helen have 22 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. They are expecting another great-grandchild and another great-great-grandchild this spring.

Although they no longer live there, their 75th wedding anniversary celebration was held at their home with approximately 100 family members in attendance. Their marriage was once again blessed by their priest.

DAVID & MAGGIE SINGLEY – DELHI – MARRIED: OCTOBER 15, 1943 – 76 YEARS

David and Maggie met at a youth meeting at the Dunn Baptist Church in Dunn, Louisiana when they were teenagers. Around age 16, they began dating – which consisted of David walking Maggie home from church about 3 miles. Soon, David’s family moved just down the road from Maggie and their love for one another grew. With their parents’ approval and blessing, they were married at 18 years old on October 15, 1943, in Rayville, Louisiana. The following year in December 1944, David was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in the Philippines and was later sent to Japan. He served in the Headquarters Company 3rd Battalion 19th Infantry and was awarded two Bronze Stars for his bravery. He was honorably discharged in October of 1946.

Shortly after David was drafted, he and Maggie had a son. He didn’t see his newborn son again until he was 18 months old. When he returned home from the Army, he farmed for a few years and, in 1953, took a job at Climax Molybdenum Company in Climax, Colorado. Maggie stayed in Louisiana to care for her invalid mother. By this time, a daughter was born. In 1957, David moved his family to Leadville, Colorado and continued to work as a welder at the Molybdenum mine until he was medically retired at age 60. Maggie worked as a cook and kitchen supervisor for the Climax Molybdenum Company for many years and then supervised the kitchen at Copper Mountain Ski Resort for 20 years. In 1999, after living in Colorado for 42 years, they moved back to where they were raised, Dunn, Louisiana.

Family is important to David and Maggie. Before Maggie and their two children moved to Colorado, they spent the summer with David. He drove them 135 miles to Pueblo to catch the train back to Louisiana. David and Maggie could not bear to say good-bye, so he took them back to Leadville for another week. He eventually took off work and drove them home to Dunn, — a 24-hour drive. Those years were difficult being apart, but their love stayed strong. Later, two more children were born.

David and Maggie were actively involved in the Leadville Assembly of God Church, serving in any way they could. David played the guitar and was a part of the church orchestra. He later served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. Maggie taught children, cooked, and served many meals for ministers and missionaries. They made many lasting friendships during those years; they still keep in contact with some.

This couple believes in the importance of family and faith, raising four children — Rev. Loyd E. Singley (Patsy) of Crowley; Barbara Singley Rose (Rev. Walter) of Anna, Texas; Beverly Singley Morgan of Lake Charles; and William B. Singley (deceased) — instilling in them love, devotion, commitment, prayer, and faith in God: the things that have helped them have a long and strong marriage. They also have 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren of whom they are very proud.

LEONARD & IRENE SAPP – WEST MONROE – MARRIED: JUNE 5, 1943 – 76 YEARS

Leonard and Irene Sapp met at Payne’s Cotton Mill in Macon, Georgia. They married on June 5, 1943. Leonard served in World War ll in a tank battalion. Their daughter, Patricia was born July 1945. Their son, Gary was born in November 1946. They have 2 grandchildren, 4 grandchildren.

Leonard became a minister and pastored and helped churches for almost 70 years. Leonard will be 95 in March and Irene will be 96 in June.

JAMES C. JR. & VERA LEE WILSON – MARKSVILLE – MARRIED: MARCH 16, 1944 – 75 YEARS

James Clifton Wilson Jr. (93) and Verna Lee Hayes Wilson (92) were married March 16, 1944.  They grew up in the Effie, Vick community in Central Louisiana.  Both were going to school at Lafargue School in Effie, Louisiana.

They met while in the 6th grade.  They dated during high school.  World War II was presently going on and James asked Verna to marry him when he was graduating from high school in the 11th grade.  At the time, there were only 11 grades. He was a senior and she was a junior.  The very next year, the school system changed to 12 grades.  James was 17 and Verna was 16 when they married.  It was a very normal thing back then because so many men were joining the military and going off to the war. James had to ask Verna’s dad for her hand. He was scared to death but it all worked out. While James was heading to Germany to fight the Germans, Verna lived with his Mom & Dad.

She traveled with him while he was in the states training at military bases and got odd jobs. When he went overseas, she came back and stayed with his Mom & Dad.  James was a State Farm agent for over 54 years and Verna was the greatest home mother anyone could ask for, teaching her three children how to cook and take care of a home.  They have 5 Grandchildren and 11 Great Grandchildren.

“Our family was very active in our church and we grew up in a wonderful Christian home,” said their son, Bruce. “Through many ups and down in our life, we always had a solid rock to cling to from our Dad & Mom.  They were always there for us.”

James and Verna taught their children that marriage is like a job.  You have to always work at it, give it your best for each other and always consider your partner before you.  This March 18, 2020 will mark 76 years of marriage.

BUD & SHIRLEY OLIVER – BATON ROUGE – MARRIED: MAY 26, 1944 – 75 YEARS

Jasper Anthony “Bud” Oliver was working at the La. Highway Department and met a young lady from Cecelia, LA, Shirley Rose Marie Guilbeau, who also was working in the the Highway Department (different department) in the State Capitol.

They started dating – she lived in a boarding house in Baton Rouge owned by her father’s cousin – the Guilbeau House –  on North 4th Street by the State Capitol – they would walk everywhere, whether it be to the movies or the park.

He and his family lived on North 20th Street.  They were engaged and soon after, he got drafted to serve in the Army in WWII.  They were to be married in June, however, he received his draft papers and the wedding date had to be changed to the day before he had to leave to report to the Army in El Paso, TX.  They were married at Sacred Heart Church in Baton Rouge on May 26, 1944.

They have 5 children, 2 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

They still reside in Baton Rouge in their home.

WILLIAM & FRANCES ROSEVALLY – COVINGTON – MARRIED: JUNE 25, 1944 – 75 YEARS

Bill Rosevally and Frances Macaluso Rosevally grew up in the same neighborhood, across the street from each other as children. They’ve known each other practically all their lives.

Bill went into the Navy (Seabees) for WWII and sent home a letter to Frances in 1944 and told her, “I will be home on leave in June, get everything ready, we’re getting married.” Somewhat taken aback by his method of “proposing,” Frances showed the letter to her Mother who replied, “Well, the first thing we have to do is get you a dress!” And, so the planning and preparing began with just two month’s notice! With a limited budget, they bought the food and drinks they were going to serve and decorated the KC Hall themselves, along with the myriad of other things that go into planning a big wedding.

Bill and Frances were one of the first families in the neighborhood to have a TV when they came out. They had 9 children in 17 years (roughly 1 child every other year, with 2 miscarriages). Their oldest son, Billy was born in 1946 (who passed away from a stroke at the age of 45 in 1992) with their last being born in 1963.

They were renting out one side of a shotgun double, but subsequently took over both sides and converted that to a single home. Over time, they did some remodeling to accommodate the growing and aging offspring. At one point, all 4 of the girls slept in one bedroom. The oldest got a single bed, while the other 3 slept on a pull out sofa bed. You don’t see that kind of closeness in raising kids these days.

Now, this loving family has blossomed into 25 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren, with the potential for more great grandkids in the future.

Bill and Frances raised their family in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans proper, Incarnate Word Parish. They moved into Our Lady of the Rosary Parish (also in New Orleans) until all of the kids were out of the house, then they downsized to a 1-story home in Covington, Louisiana. Mom volunteered and served in the Adoration Chapel at St. Peter Church in Covington for many years and also volunteered at St. Tammany General Hospital for numerous years where she was honored with a plaque on the wall. Bill volunteered and worked many decades as a Coach at Incarnate Word school and then became a supervisor at New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) where he coached the likes of Cooper and Peyton Manning as well as all of Moon and Verna Landrieu’s kids. Both Bill and Frances served for decades in their American Legion Post before handing it over to a younger crew.

They have instilled a strong faith in their family that continues to be passed down to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a legacy that bears much fruit – one couldn’t ask for more than that!

EDWARD & LULDA GREEN – ERATH – MARRIED: NOVEMBER 24, 1945 – 74 YEARS

“We’ve been married for 67?  No 74 years,” Lulda stated.

Lulda’s husband says the secret to a successful marriage is to leave the talking to her. “I let her do the talking,” Edward explained, laughing.

The Greens are both from Vermilion Parish. It’s also where the couple met.

Lulda says Edward had won a cake playing a game of cards. “He asked me if I wanted the cake I told him no,” Lulda added.

Lulda says after getting to know him she told him “I do.” Together they had 15 children.

“We were farmers. We used to plant all kinds of stuff from cotton, cane, vegetables, cabbage and okra. The list went on and on. We planted watermelon.”

It wasn’t just them working in the field. Their children worked in the field too. “They were going to school but after school, they had to work in the field.

“Dress in their old clothes and then they go into the field,” Lulda said.

Lulda says she and her husband have learned in order to make a relationship last, they have to trust knowing what’s best for each other. “You can’t listen to what everybody say. They tried to put us down but I never did believe it,” Lulda stated.

Story courtesy of KLFY and Renee Allen. (Click here to watch their video.)

2019honorablementions

Camille & Aline Borne St. Pierre

Married: October 1, 1946
Raceland, Louisiana

Years Married: 73

Hardie Lee & Artemissia Ford

Married: March 29, 1947
Mansfield, Louisiana

Years Married: 72
Click here to read their story!

Salvador (Sam) & Magdalene Perino

Married: September 7, 1947
Covington, Louisiana

Years Married: 72
Click here to read their story!

Paul & Yvonne Wilson

Married: October 6, 1947
Morgan City, Louisiana

Years Married: 72

James & Irma Cheramie

Married: December 3, 1948
Galliano, Louisiana

Years Married: 71
Click here to read their story!

Donald & Ella May Schellinger

Married: May 2, 1954
Shreveport, Louisiana

Years Married: 65

Ferris & Margaret Romaire

Married: November 24, 1946
Morgan City, Louisiana

Years Married: 73
Click here to read their story!

John & Bessie Wiltcher

Married: July 26, 1947
West Monroe, Louisiana

Years Married: 72
Click here to read their story!

Marion & Jean Hess

Married: September 20, 1947
New Orleans, Louisiana

Years Married: 72

Thomas Medford & Mae Hogg

Married: July 30, 1948
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Years Married: 71
Click here to read their story!

Nelville “Leo” & Mary Dee Theard

Married: December 22, 1949
Covington, Louisiana

Years Married: 70
Click here to read their story!

Huey & Betty Jean Evans

Married: November 24, 1957
Mansfield, Louisiana

Years Married: 62

Contact Us

Send us an email — we'll get back to you asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search