SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- The 2019 state winners of the ninth annual Longest Married Couple Project, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.

"As we enter the month of June and what is traditionally known as National Marriage Month, it is awesome to see the number of state winner couples who have been married 70 years or more," explained Tony & Sue Morris and Fr. Tom Ogg, the United States Leadership Team for WWME.

"As in previous years there were many, many nominations submitted," the Morris' explained, adding, "And, with those nominations we saw couples married 40 or 50 years being recognized by family and friends as they submitted their names to the Longest Married Couple Project."

The 2019 longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is DW & Willie Williams from Charlotte, NC. They have been married for over 81 years having made their marriage vows on August 17, 1937. The Morris' and Fr. Ogg will be honoring Mr. & Mrs. Williams at a special ceremony in their hometown of Charlotte at the First Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church on Saturday, June 15th.

The WWME leadership team noted that there were 35 state winners who have been married 70 plus years.

As in previous years of the LMC project, which is in its 9th year, individual state winners will be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter during the month of June, or at a time convenient for the winning state couple and their families.

Winners of the project are automatically made members of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Longest Married Couple Project Alumni group. Couples cannot succeed themselves each year as either national or state winners, thus giving an opportunity to honor other longest married couples across the country.

The Morris' also pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from Feb. 14th to May 14th this year. They also said there were no nominations this year from two states, Nevada and Utah.

The list of the 2018 state winners along with their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:

Alabama

James & Gloria Albright 

Talladega, AL

June 21, 1950 - 68 years

Alaska

Deacon Bill & Sharon Frost

Wasilla, AK

June 9, 1956 - 63 years

Arizona

Don & Audrey Schmit

Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 1949 - 70 years

Arkansas

Cleovis & Arwilda Whiteside

White Hall, AR

July 24, 1939 - 79 years

California

Bill & Betty Nelson

Vista, CA

Aug 27, 1952 - 66 years

Colorado

Archie & Joyce Lickers

Grand Junction, CO

April 17, 1954 - 65 years

Connecticut

Fernand & Pauline Nadeau

East Hartford, CT

July 19, 1947 - 71 years

Delaware

Joseph & Joan Barba

Wilmington, DE

Oct 5, 1957 - 61 years

Florida

Charles & Emily Pearce

Viera, FL

Nov 26, 1943 - 75 years

Georgia

Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter

Plains, GA

July 7, 1946 - 72 years

Hawaii

Victor Jr & Billie Martino

Kihei, Maui, HI

Feb 6, 1943 - 76 years

Idaho

Keith & Dorothy Elliott

Nampa, ID

Nov 10, 1946 - 72 years

Illinois

Eugene & Delores Ehrhard

Columbia, IL

Mar 16, 1946 - 73 years

Indiana

Ray D & Bettie A Myers

Waveland, IN

Feb 26, 1944 - 75 years

Iowa

Norbert & Marie Hammes

Fairfield, IA

Nov 28, 1940 - 78 years

Kansas

Leonard & Maxine Zerr

Quinter, KS

Oct 7, 1947 - 71 years

Kentucky

James & Ann Hartman

Louisville, KY

June 7, 1947 - 71 years

Louisiana

Roy & Gloria Gibbens

St. Gabriel, LA

Oct 18, 1947 - 71 years

Maine

Alexander & Dorothy Pesce

Windham, ME

July 14, 1951 - 71 years

Maryland

Bill & Amee McCarthy

Elkton, MD

Nov 25, 1941 - 77 years

Massachusetts

Fernand & Madeline Mederios

Taunton, MA

Oct 5, 1946 - 72 years

Michigan

Ernest & Elizabeth Harbin

Flushing, MI

May 22, 1946 - 73 years

Minnesota

Paul & Julia Sersha

Virginia, MN

April 7, 1943 - 76 years

Mississippi

Robert & Norma Jean Wendt

Oxford, MS

April 10, 1946 - 73 years

Missouri

Paul & Lucy Sprenger

O'Fallon, MO

May 16, 1943 - 76 years

Montana

Darrell & Dorothy Brown

Missoula, MT

Nov 11, 1951 - 67 years

Nebraska

Bob & Alice Cruise

Ravenna, NE

June 15, 1941 - 77 years

New Hampshire

James & Josephine Marchi

Franklin, NH

June 21, 1947 - 71 years

New Jersey

Lenny & Angie McGinley

Union, NJ

Feb 12, 1956 - 63 years

New Mexico

Victor & Evelyn Graham

Albuquerque, NM

July 19, 1942 - 76 years

New York

Barry Jr & Edna Sparks

Watervliet, NY

April 8, 1949 - 70 years

North Carolina

Stephan & Peggy Melillo

Garner, NC

July 4, 1948 - 70 years

North Dakota

Leo & Martha Jahner

Bismarck, ND

Oct 13, 1947 - 71 years

Ohio

Don & Shirley Wiegele

Cincinnati, OH

Nov 29, 1947 - 71 years

Oklahoma

Eddie & Norma Chambers

Midwest City, OK

Jan 25, 1941 - 78 years

Oregon

Donald & Clara Parquet

McMinnville, OR

Oct 23, 1943 - 75 years

Pennsylvania

Gordon & Marge Griffey

West Springfield, PA

June 26, 1948 - 70 years

Rhode Island

Richard & Rosemary Dujardin

Providence, RI

July 21, 1968 - 50 years

South Carolina

Reggie & Anne Salisbury

Summerville, SC

July 19, 1947 - 71 years

South Dakota

John & Joyce Mechtenberg

Parkton, SD

June 30, 1947 - 71 years

Tennessee

Joe & Barbara Nicolosi

Franklin, TN

June 26, 1953 - 65 years

Texas

John Thomas & Gloria Faith Bates

Dallas, TX

July 2, 1955 - 63 years

Vermont

Lawrence & Dorothy O'Rourke

Woodstock, VT

Oct 18, 1947 - 71 years

Virginia

A J & Lillie Reeves

Rocky Mount, VA

Jan 25, 1941 - 78 years

Washington

Allen & Bonnie Hollett

Gig Harbor, WA

Jan 30, 1943 - 76 years

West Virginia

Edward & Pauline Bernatowicz

Kingwood, WV

Feb 14, 1953 - 66 years

Wisconsin

Donald & Elaine Gibson

Oshkosh, WI

May 16, 1953 - 66 years

Wyoming

Lou & Mary Lou Montoya

Wheatland, WY

Nov 26, 1949 - 69 years

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 50 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today's world. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online go to wwme.org or contact the WWME Office at (909) 863-9963.

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SOURCE Worldwide Marriage Encounter

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