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California Couple Recognized By Faith-Based Marriage Enrichment Program for Longest Marriage Of 80 Years

( [email protected] ) Feb 23, 2016 08:28 AM EST
After being recognized for having the longest marriage in America, a California couple briefly shared how they have coped after all these years.
California couple Maury (102) and Helen (100) Goosenberg have been married for 80 years. Eduardo Contreras

After being recognized for having the longest marriage in America, a California couple briefly shared how they have coped after all these years.

"A sense of humor is very important," Helen Goosenberg said at the awarding ceremony on Sunday, as hosted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. "And just liking each other very much. I think that's the main answer for everything."

The 100-year-old woman and her 102-year-old husband, Maury, have been married for 80 years.

The Goosenbergs were chosen by the faith-based marriage enrichment program as the winner of their "2016 Longest-Married Couple," contest, with which their great-granddaughter was responsible in entering them into the competition.

Although the couple bagged this year's prize, the San Diego Union Tribe states that multiple sources have reported that the award for the longest marriage in the country should go to John and Anna Betar of Connecticut, who exchanged wedding vows 83 years ago.

"Everyone told us it wouldn't last. Now there's no one left alive for me to say, 'See? I told you so,' " Maury said.

The couple crossed each other’s paths at a Halloween party in Philadelphia in 1931; since then, they seldom left each other’s side.

"He had a smile that knocked me over," Helen recalled.

Maury also shared that he was certainly impressed upon laying his eyes on his future wife for the first time while thinking, "Well, there's a beauty."

However, Helen was urged by others to be careful due to Maury having many girlfriends and being deemed unprepared to settle down. During the next few months, he continued to date other women, although he soon realized the need to settle down with somebody for the rest of his life.

"What I learned is that she was a solid person and she was beautiful in both looks and attitude," he explained.

Despite experiencing unemployment and little money in the middle of the Depression, Maury finally landed a job as a truck driver while Helen went on to focus on her office job in Allentown. Still, they found ways to go on dates with each other and eventually eloped in 1935.

"She's the same outstanding individual she was when I was first attracted to her,” Maury said.

The couple did not have the money to afford a photographer to capture their special moment at their wedding. After going home and announcing the news to their parents, the families carried out a joint celebration on Dec. 31, which the pair recognizes as their official anniversary date.

Nonetheless, after World War II, Maury and Helen made use of their entrepreneurial skills and certainly reaped what they sowed. After running a Chrysler dealership, the pair started an insurance business and then began tackling estate planning.

The Goosenberg couple had a son named Jerry, who went on to bear four children before passing away due to cancer at 36.

Over the more recent years, Maury and Helen have been spending most of their time watching TV, especially when golfing events are on, as they sit by each other in matching recliners.

Regardless of their differences and their struggles throughout the years, the Goosenbergs often passed with flying colors by working things out "equitably, honestly and fairly.”

Tags : California, marriage, The Goosenbergs, Maury Goosenberg, Helen Goosenberg