Connecticut Couple Honored as 'Longest Married' in U.S.

ABC News Blogs
Connecticut Couple Honored as 'Longest Married' in U.S.
.

View photo

Connecticut Couple Honored as 'Longest Married' in U.S. (ABC News)

A Connecticut couple who tied the knot over 80 years ago will be named the longest married couple in the U.S.

John and Ann Betar of Fairfield, Conn., said "I do" on Nov. 25, 1932, and have been happily married for 80 years. Together they have five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

The couple was selected for the 2013 award by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian marriage enrichment group based in San Bernardino, Calif., that organizes a search each year to promote the virtues of lasting marriages and inspire young couples.

"What an inspiration Mr. and Mrs. Betar are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 80-plus years ago and they have kept that commitment over these many years. They truly are a sign of hope to us all," Worldwide Marriage Encounter's Ron and Judy Pekny said in a statement.

An award ceremony will take place on Saturday at the Fairfield, Conn., home of one of the Betars' granddaughters, Heather Mitchell.

Before their 80th wedding anniversary in November, John and Ann Betar told ABC News that they considered themselves "blessed."

"We are very fortunate. It can be repeated and repeated," Ann, 97, said at the time. "It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing."

Though the couple is hesitant to give out marriage advice, their secret to so many happy years together is simple: compromise and don't hold a grudge.

John, 101, met Ann, now 97, while growing up in the same Syrian community in Bridgeport, Conn. Breaking with tradition, Ann defied her parents when they set up an arranged marriage for her. She ran off to Harrison, N.Y. to elope with John. Now, she says she knows she made the right choice.

The Betars said they delight in the newer generations of their family, and their descendants return the compliment.

"I'm always blown away by their incredible optimism, deep sense of compassion and modesty," granddaughter Heather Mitchell said before their anniversary. "They are true beacons - inspirational people who emit such joy without even knowing it."

The Betars were chosen out of hundreds of couples nominated during the project's submission period, which ran from October of last year to January. There may be other couples who have been married longer in the U.S., but none was formally nominated, according to the group.

RELATED: College Sweethearts Marry Nearly 50 Years After Breakup

View Comments (4968)

Recommended for You

  • Germanwings Crash: Video May Show Plane's Final Moments

    Two magazines have reported details of a disturbing video taken from inside the doomed Germanwings plane moments before it crashed into the French Alps, but investigators have denied its existence. While ABC News has not independently confirmed the existence of the video, the editor of Parisian…

    Good Morning America25 mins ago
  • Good Morning America40 mins ago
  • 5 April Fool's Day Jokes That Show Techies Have a Sense of Humor

    "Today we’re excited to introduce Smartbox—a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind," Google wrote in a blog post. We've dropped the resolution, and in doing so re-discovered our roots," design lead Daniel Glass said.

    Good Morning America43 mins ago
  • What's New on iTunes, Netflix and Hulu for April

    This is no April Fools' joke -- there's a lot to watch on iTunes, Netflix and Hulu for the month. There's hours and hours to watch on these streaming services.Whether it's movies such as the acclaimed "American Sniper" or new shows including Marvel's "Daredevil," many people are going to be glued…

    Good Morning America7 mins ago
  • Avril Lavigne Reveals She Has Lyme Disease

    Rocker Avril Lavigne has revealed the health crisis she hinted to fans about last year on social media -- it's Lyme disease. “She has rarely left her home,” said People staff writer Patrick Gomez.

    Good Morning America53 mins ago
  • The Pet Rock Captured a Moment and Made Its Creator a Millionaire

    Gary Ross Dahl devised the perfect pet. Dahl’s Pet Rock was a key innovation of the 1970s, tongue-in-cheek humor for a post-Watergate world, a pop culture fad that made its creator lots of money -- and continued to draw bemused attention in the decades that followed. Dahl, whose death was…

    Good Morning America
  • Netanyahu Slams Iran Nuclear Talks, Calls for 'Better Deal'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up his opposition to the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran, the United States and its European allies, saying it was "time for the international community to insist on a better deal.""A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear…

    Good Morning America
  • Why ‘Bloodline’ Actress Linda Cardellini Bought a Bug Suit

    Actress Linda Cardellini shot for eight months in the Florida Keys for the “Bloodline,” a new and acclaimed Netflix series, and, while there, she developed an appreciation for Key Lime Pie -- and bug suits. So the mosquitoes are pretty big,” Cardellini, 39, told “Good Morning America”’s Amy Robach…

    Good Morning America
  • Joni Mitchell Rushed to Hospital After Being Found Unconscious

    Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital Tuesday after being found unconscious in her home, according to a statement posted to her official website. Mitchell regained consciousness during the ambulance ride to the hospital, and despite being in intensive…

    Good Morning America
  • Andrew Getty, J. Paul Getty's Grandson, Found Dead in Los Angeles Home

    Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty and an heir to the family's oil fortune, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, his parents confirmed in a statement. "The family has requested that members of the media and the public respect its privacy during this extremely difficult time,"…

    Good Morning America
  • Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says He 'Could Have Handled' Religious Freedom Law Better

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence today admitted that he mishandled the passage of a religious freedom law and now wants a piece of legislation to clarify that it does not give anyone the right to discriminate in the state. His comments came hours before the state House of Representatives in Arkansas passed…

    Good Morning America
  • Comedy Central Defends 'Daily Show' Host Trevor Noah Over Tweets

    Comedy Central is standing by new "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. Just one day after the network announced that Noah would be replacing Jon Stewart on the show, the 31-year-old comedian has come under fire for tweets referencing Jewish people and women.

    Good Morning America
  • 1,000-Year-Old Eye Infection Salve May Kill MRSA Super Bug, Study Shows

    A relatively new super bug may have met its match in a 1,000-year-old eye treatment, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham. The recipe to cure eye infections comes from "Bald’s Leechbook," an old English leather-bound tome that was buried deep within the British Library in…

    Good Morning America
  • Manifesto in 'Gone Girl' Case Reveals Truth About Denise Huskins Kidnapping, Lawyer Says

    Douglas Rappaport, the attorney for Denise Huskins, said he has received a “15-page, single-spaced email” from the kidnappers. “They talk very extensively about how they prepared for it, what weapons to use,” Rappaport said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. Rappaport said the email was…

    Good Morning America
  • Coast Guard Rescues 9 Crew Members From Tourist Pirate Ship in Stormy Waters

    The Coast Guard endured rough seas and gusting winds to rescue nine crewmen from a disabled tourist pirate ship called Liana's Ransom that was stranded off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Watchstanders were notified at 12:35 a.m. Monday that the Canadian tall ship's engines were disabled…

    Good Morning America
  • New Allegations Against FLDS Church: Former Police Chief Says He Feared Church Leaders

    A former police chief who served the twin towns that the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints dominates is coming forward for the first time, claiming he lived in fear that Warren Jeffs and other church leaders would take his family away if he didn’t do their bidding. “This community has…

    Good Morning America
  • Bouncing Baby Girls Are Utterly Delighted By Mom's Singing

    In the video, their mom, Lola Adebayo, is humming the tune to the British show, “EastEnders,” which is the babies’ grandmother’s favorite show. “They're used to watching the show when we would visit,” Adebayo told ABC News of her twins, Amel and Amira.

    Good Morning America