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State Winners for 2016 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Contact: Dick & Diane Baumbach, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, 321-544-3440, dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Feb. 9, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- The 2016 state winners of the sixth annual Longest Married Couple Project, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) , the original faith based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.

"We are truly excited and amazed at the number of couples married 70 years or more and there were many with 60 plus years of marriage," explained Joe & Sue Talarico, the United States Leadership Team for WWME. The Talaricos serve with Fr. Tom Ogg as the U.S. Leadership Team.

"There were over 250 nominations submitted," the Talaricos explained, adding, "And, again this year we had couples married much shorter times who wanted to make the Longest Married Couple Project something they could focus on in their marriages for the future."

The 2016 longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is Maury & Helen Gossenberg of Carlsbad, CA. They are married over 80 years having made their marriage vows in September 1935. The Talaricos and Fr. Ogg will be honoring Mr. & Mrs. Goosenberg in a special ceremony in their hometown of Carlsbad, CA at the La Costa Glen independent living facility this coming Valentine's Day weekend.

As in previous years of the six year old project, individual state winners will also be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter over the Valentine's weekend or at a time convenient for the winning state couple and their families.
This is also the first year that a longest married couple was named for a U.S. territory, namely, Saipan.

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 Talaricos also pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from October 10th the previous year to January 10th of the current year.  They also pointed out that there were no nominations this year from five states.
The list of the 2016 state winners and their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:

    Les and Delores Dennis
    June 30, 1949
    66 years
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Warren & Joyce Davis                        
    May 15, 1954
    62 years
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Clinton & Christine Jayne
    Feb. 19, 1943
    72 years
    Warren, AR

    Clarence & Alberta Gazin
    March 17, 1940
    75 years
    Los Angeles, CA

    Gene & Margie Nelson
    Oct. 30, 1936
    79 years
    Castle Rock, CO

    John & Katie Franzosa
    Oct. 28, 1944
    71 years
    Manchester, CT

    James & Roberta Conrad     
    Sept. 13, 1944             
    71 years
    Wilmington, DE

    Peter & Marie Nepi
    Nov. 22, 1941 
    74 years
    Sarasota, FL

    Edgar & Nelle Ennis                                
    Oct. 17, 1942                     
    73 years
    Albany, GA

    Richard & Dominga Yadao                      
    May, 25, 1946                    
    69 years
    Wailuka Maui, HI

    Keith & Barbara Burns                             
    Feb. 16, 1952                      
    63 years
    Meridian, ID

    John & Madeline Fote                               
    Oct 12, 1940                       
    75 years
    Mount Prospect, IL

    Ralph & Lilian Plummer                           
    March 30, 1945                  
    70 years
    Indianapolis, IN

    Yeoman & Erma Cowlishaw                     
    Feb. 6, 1940                       
    75 years
    Waterloo, IA

    Harold & Mary Alice McKinney               
    May 16, 1948                     
    67 years
    Greensburg, KS

    Clarence & Kathleen Chesser                     
    June 6, 1959                       
    56 years
    La Grange, KY

    Alfred & Shirley Reyes                               
    May 27, 1950                      
    65 years
    New Orleans, LA

    Ralph & Dotty Cornette                               
    Nov. 21, 1970                      
    45 years
    Winthrop, ME

    Anthony & Mary Leggieri                            
    Oct. 18, 1947                      
    68 years
    Ijamsville, MD

    Charles & Anna DiPietro                              
    June 25, 1939                      
    76 years
    Peabody, MA

    Chester & Martha Leppek                             
    Oct. 26, 1940                       
    75 years
    Ruth, MI

    Ben & Rosemarie Sontag                               
    May 22, 1943                      
    72 years                                         
    Rosemount, MN

    Luke & Gwendolyn Scavuzzo                        
    Aug. 15, 1948                      
    67 years
    Harrisonville, MO

    Erwin & Carol Keim                                       
    April 27, 1940                     
    75 years
    Chadron, NE

    Wayne & Marcia Kessler                                 
    July 24, 1965                       
    50 years
    Boulder City, NV

    New Hampshire                                                
    Sylvio & Lucille LeBlanc                                 
    Oct. 19, 1940                       
    75 years
    Manchester, NH 

    New Jersey
    Jack & Mary Smith                                            
    July 15, 1944                        
    71 years
    Bridgewater, NJ

    New Mexico
    Henry & Cecilia Marrufo                                    
    Dec. 2, 1950                         
    65 years
    Las Cruces, NM

    New York
    Ralph & Joan Keefe                                             
    Sept. 8, 1942                        
    73 years
    Oceanside, NY

    North Carolina
    Bill & Julia Stephens                                            
    Feb. 1, 1959                         
    56 years
    Raleigh, NC

    North Dakota
    Tom & Jean McNulty                                           
    Jan. 22, 1942                        
    73 years
    Bismark, ND

    Constantine & Pauline Nonno                               
    March 8, 1943                      
    72 years
    Barberton, OH

    Lloyd & Velma Cox                                               
    Aug. 17, 1947                      
    68 years
    Guthrie, OK

    Mario & Josephine Monti                                        
    July 23, 1944                       
    71 years
    Portland, OR

    Chet & Helen Amick                                                
    June 10, 1939                      
    76 years
    Lanse, PA

    Rhode Island
    Santa & Nicola Mainelli                                            
    Dec. 2, 1944                       
    71 years
    Providence, RI 

    South Carolina
    Frank & Betty Murray                                                
    Nov. 24, 1947                    
    68 years
    North Augusta, SC

    Anthony & Dorothy Kliemann
    June 27, 1942                     
    73 years
    Knoxville, TN

    Henry & Isaura Palma                                                 
    Nov. 22, 1952                    
    63 years
    Georgetown, TX 

    Paul & Thelma Hance                                                  
    Sept. 28, 1946                   
    69 years
    Bristol, VT 

    James & Christine Bacco                                
    July 2, 1949                       
    66 years
    Daleville, VA

    Frank & Marie Bishop                                                  
    July 24, 1936                    
    79 years
    Shelton, WA

    West Virginia
    Cheap & Phyllis Safreed                                               
    Nov. 19, 1948                   
    67 years
    St. Albans, WV

    Gordon & Shirley Arkens                                               
    Sept. 20, 1945                  
    70 years
    West Allis, WI 
    William & Doris Carpenter                                           
    Jan. 28, 1944                    
    71 years
    Casper, WY

    US Territories
    Gregorio & Bernadita DelaCruz                                   
    Dec. 27, 1965                   
    51 years
    Koblerville, Saipan CNMI 

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 48 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.