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State Winners for 2020 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Oct. 8, 2020
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Oct. 8, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- The 2020 state winners of the tenth annual Longest Married Couple Project, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.

"In this truly unusual time with the pandemic occurring across the United States we are very pleased that over 150 nominations were received and that we have 47 state winners," said Tony & Sue Morris and Fr. Tom Ogg, the United States Leadership Team for WWME.

"As we have done with the national winners, Ralph & Dorothy Kohler from Indio, California who are married 85 years, the state winners will be honored virtually in an abundance of caution," the Morris' explained.

Individual state winners will be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter during October and November 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 February to August of the current year. They also said there were no nominations this year from one state, while the winners in two other states were previous winners so they cannot succeed themselves.

The list of the 2020 state winners and their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:

    William (Bill) & Eleanor Welsh Cullman, AL 5-11-1947 73 years

    Raymond & Dorrene Coates Eagle River, AK 9-15-1951 68 years

    Jim & Elaine Behrend Scottsdale, AZ 3-17-1959 61 years

    Frank & Betty Vorster Little Rock, AR 10-1-1951 68 years

    Timothy & Carol Cunningham San Diego, CA 9-12-1944 75 years

    Bob & Marcella Raikes Louisville, CO 6-30-1953 67 years

    Ken & Peg McLaughlin Granby, CT 4-10-1948 72 years

    Donald & Loma Ranish Seaford, DE 1-8-1952 68 years

    Benjamin & Gertrude Ferencz Del Ray, FL 3-31-1946 74 years

    Johnnie & Elizabeth Page Decatur, GA 6-28-1949 71 years

    Sean & Patricia Wilkinson Kailua-Kona, HI 9-4-1951 68 years

    Carrol & Joann Hansen Cambridge, ID 10-9-1948 71 years

    Bill & Irma Hawotte Rock Island, IL 9-20-1941 78 years

    Robert & Flora Phillipy Jasper, IN 5-1-1948 72 years

    Gerald & Joan Gaul Farley, IA 6-12-1956 64 years

    John & Ruby Quenzer Bel Aire, KS 4-13-1950 70 years

    Bill & Melrose Guthier Camp Springs, KY 9-16-1948 71 years

    Peter & Olive Basha Zachary, LA 8-30-1947 73 years

    Frank & Jeanette Jordan Orrington, ME 11-16-1959 60 years

    Frank & Rose Kulzer Elkton, MD 9-30-1946 72 years

    George & Mary Brooks South Attleboro MA 7-19-1947 73 years

    Charles & Ann Oddo Canton, MI 7-25-1942 77 years

    Clifford & Margaret Rabe Lake City, MN 7-10-1941 79 years

    LeeRoy Jr & Nina Renfroe Jayess, MS 5-27-1945 75 years

    Norm & Phyllis Roewe Baldwin, MO 12-27-1952 67 years

    Charles & Norma Guthrie Omaha, NE 4-8-1942 78 years

    Bill & June Jamerson Fallon, NV 5-25-1946 74 years

    New Hampshire
    Dave & Karen Demers New London, NH 4-27-1974 46 years

    New Jersey
    Warren & Elaine Lipka Bordentown, NJ 10-22-1966 53 years

    New Mexico
    Art & Marilyn Kerschen Las Cruces, NM 8-21-1965 55 years

    New York
    Lyle & Eleanor Gittens Brooklyn, NY 6-4-1942 78 years

    North Carolina
    Coy & Doris Shue Charlotte, NC 4-25-1942 78 years

    North Dakota
    Francis & Phyllis Lauber Mandan, ND 9-19-1949 70 years

    Gilberto & Amelia Nava Tiffin, OH 12-21-1947 72 years

    Virgil & Millie Fussell Enid, OK 8-25-1942 78 years

    Dick & Angie Grigg Nyssa, OR 5-5-1950 70 years

    Chester & Martha Pish Pottstown, PA 5-23-1942 78 years

    Rhode Island
    Greg & Donna Cambio Johnston, RI 6-23-1979 41 years

    South Carolina
    Charles & Rose Ferranti Goose Creek, SC 5-31-1948 72 years

    Virgil & Patricia Johnson Shelbyville, TN 8-27-1955 65 years

    Epigmenio & Guadalupe Moreno Houston, TX 2-16-1942 78 years

    Mark & Donna Heyrend Salt Lake City, UT 5-28-1948 72 years

    Eugene & Florence Meiler Shelburne, VT 12-2-1960 59 years

    Firman & Francis Sensibaugh Manassas, VA 4-20-1946 74 years

    Charles & Mabel Mitson Spokane Valley, WA 7-11-1942 77 years

    Paul & Dolores Opichka Milwaukee, WI 8-26-1950 70 years

    George & Anna Burns Lander, WY 5-10-1951 69 years

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 52 years. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society.

The marriage encounter experience, traditionally held in a hotel, retreat house, or parish over the weekend, has now expanded to adapt to current needs. Virtual online programs are now live facilitated by couples and priests through video conference on either weekends or week-day evenings.

Our goal is to "go into your home, virtually, to assist couples and priests to not only improve their relationships but to thrive together," said Tony & Sue and Fr. Tom.

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. The marriage encounter experience is also available to priests and religious to enhance their sacraments. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online go to wwme.org. or contact the WWME Office at (909) 863-9963.

SOURCE Worldwide Marriage Encounter

CONTACT: Dick & Diane Baumbach, 321-544-3440, dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

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