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Longest Living Married US Couple Celebrates 86th Wedding Anniversary and Reveals Secret behind Their Happiness

Bettina Dizon
Oct 02, 2021
07:00 P.M.

Ralph and Dorothy Kohler made history as America’s longest-living married couple and celebrated with the entire community. Ralph shared their secret to a long-lasting marriage in an interview.


Every anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating for couples, but a California husband and wife had the entire community toasting to their 86 years of marriage.

On September 16, 2021, Ralph Kohler, 104, and Dorothy Kohler, 103, reached a milestone and made history as America’s longest-living married couple.


Last year, Congress recognized Ralph and Dorothy’s anniversary and honored them with an award. This year, their family is celebrating the milestone with decorations and food.

The couple’s community also participated in the celebration, sending them letters of appreciation and gifts, such as cakes and chocolates. For those who know their story, Ralph and Dorothy serve as inspirations to many lovers.

While recalling the decades they spent together, Ralph had only wonderful things to say about his wife. In an interview, he shared what he believes is the secret to a long-lasting marriage.

Ralph and Dorothy Kohler celebrate their anniversary. | Source: YouTube/KESQ NewsChannel 3

Ralph and Dorothy Kohler celebrate their anniversary. | Source: YouTube/KESQ NewsChannel 3



“Togetherness,” he said while expounding that they both enjoyed different activities yet supported each other to excel in their respective hobbies. Ralph added:

“Love for one thing, and we enjoy the same thing. And if we didn’t, we accepted it. Dorothy loves ballroom dancing, and I loved shooting clay targets. I joined her with ballroom dancing, and she joined me with trap shooting.”

Their understanding and support for each other allowed both to succeed in cross-country competitions, receiving hundreds of awards for different activities.

Ralph and Dorothy Kohler's photo from years ago. | Source: YouTube/KESQ NewsChannel 3

Ralph and Dorothy Kohler's photo from years ago. | Source: YouTube/KESQ NewsChannel 3



Ralph and Dorothy married in Nebraska in 1935 after being denied a marriage license due to their young age. At that time, he was only 18, and she was 17.

The couple has since been inseparable and only argued a few times. According to Ralph, they had “a sharp word every once in a while, maybe, but it didn’t last.” If there were a problem, Ralph would agree with his wife.

In 2014, the couple relocated to California to live near their youngest child, Kay Burden. Their second daughter, Jeannie, also lives in the state, while their eldest son, Max, resides in Mexico.

There are many couples whose marriage lasted through decades such that the vow “till death do us part” was fulfilled. Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter are among the longest-living married couples with 75 years of marriage.

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