Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Sunday 19 May |
The Solemnity of Pentecost
Aleteia logo
Inspiring Stories
separateurCreated with Sketch.

America’s longest living married couple share secret behind 86 years of wedded bliss


Ruslan Huzau | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 09/29/21

These 2 habits are big reason the Kohlers are still enjoying a happy marriage.

In 1935, a young couple — Ralph then 18, and Dorothy Kohler, then 17 — married in Tekamah, Nebraska. Even though they were initially denied a marriage license due to their young ages, they were determined to marry and eventually found one. Their determination paid off and this month the couple celebrated an incredible 86 years together.

In an interview with, Ralph gave some insight into how he and his wife have managed to not only grow old together, but to grow in love for one another. He put it down to “togetherness.”

Although the couple had very different hobbies over the years — Ralph loved clay-shooting, and Dorothy ballroom dancing — they decided to compromise and got involved with each other’s passions.

Thanks to their efforts and unique bond, the couple traveled the United States together and won trophies in ballroom dancing and trapshooting.

Yet it’s not just their time spent together that has proved vital for their marriage. At the great age of 104, Ralph reflects that throughout their marriage the couple has seldom argued. This blend of peace, harmony, and goals achieved together seems the perfect ingredients for a successful union.

The couple gained congressional recognition last year for their lengthy nuptials and they’ve inspired not only their children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, but also their neighbors. In fact, members of their community have been dropping off cards and presents to help Ralph and Dorothy celebrate this incredible anniversary.

As they continue to live out their vows, we pray that the time they have left together will continue to be filled with as much peace and love as they have shared over the last 86 years.

ElderlyInspiring storiesMarriage
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.