I love love! Stories of love, movies about love, and experiencing love for myself just makes my heart smile. Contrary to a lot of people I know, Valentine’s Day is actually one of my favorite holidays. The celebration, the hugs, the kisses, the letters, the hearts, the chocolate, and the LOVE give me feelings of joy and excitement.

There is so much power in love, whether that love be between two friends, siblings, a couple, or parents and their children. Anyone who loves or is loved by someone knows what a blessing it can be.

The love between John and Ann Betar is beyond admirable and definitely worth recognizing. The two went on their first date back in 1932 when John was 21 years old and Ann was 17. Just days after their first date, they eloped. This past November 25th, John and Ann celebrated their 85th wedding anniversary!

“And they said it wouldn’t last!” John laughed while telling their love story.

Their remarkably long-lasting marriage has made them the unofficial longest-married couple in all of America, acknowledged by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter in 2013 when they were commemorating their 81st anniversary. What a title to have!

John and Ann, now 106 and 102 respectively, have five children, 15 grandchildren, and more than a dozen great-grandchildren. The couple honored their recent anniversary in Connecticut with the company of their family.

Unbeknownst to them, their family had planned a special surprise for the two lovebirds: a ride in the same model car – a Ford Roadster – that they drove in on their first date 85 years ago.

“Like old times,” John said to Ann as they kissed and thought back on the monumental day.

Ann was not hesitant in offering advice when asked how they have managed to keep their love and marriage alive after all these years.

“Listen to one another no matter what the situation is,” she instructed. “We’re not arguing, we’re listening and we’ve always listened.”

Wise words, indeed!

John and Ann fall just short of the world record for longest marriage (86 years, 9 months, and 16 days), but they show no signs of slowing down.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Betar on 85 years of marriage and a beautiful lasting love! We wish you many more blissful years together!

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