January 30, 2012 at 18:36 PM EST

San Bernardino, CA – (IBWire.com Jan 30, 2012) – The 2012 state winners of the annual Longest Married Couple Project sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the original faith based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.

“The number of years many of these couples are married is just awesome,” explained Scott and Karen Seaborn, the United States Leadership Team for WWME.  The Seaborns serve with Fr. Tom Griffith, SVD, as the U.S. Ecclesial Team.

“There were 256 nominations from 47 states,” the Seaborns explained, adding, “There are four couples married 78 years, many couples married 70 plus years and quite a few couples with 60 plus years of marriage. What a testament to having a commitment to a long marriage!”

The longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is Wilbur and Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, NV.  They are married 78 years having made their
marriage vows on April 14, 1933.  The Seaborns will be traveling to the Faiss’ hometown on Feb. 11th to personally honor them at a special ceremony.

This year individual state winners will be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter, all across the country, over the Valentine’s week and weekend.

Winners of the initial project, which was held last year, automatically became 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 list of the 2012 state winners and their hometowns are as follows:

Alabama – Joseph & Louise Grey                        Mobile   AL                  72 years

Arkansas – Roy & Vola Edgmon                          Lowell   AR                 78 years

California – Primitivo & Mauricia Ballesteros      Sunnyvale  CA            75 years

Colorado –  Chuck & Inez Massana                      Pueblo  CO                  76 years

Connecticut – Charles & Dorothy Baldis              Granby CT                   65 years

Delaware – Valentino & Mary Nardo                   Wilmington DE             71 years

Florida – Ned & Martha Dickson                          Lake Placid  FL            75 years

Georgia – Victor & Ellen Della-Giustina              Augusta  GA                 66 years

Hawaii – Percy & Helen Chun                              KaimukiHI                    74 years

Iowa – Ray & Margaret Kuethe                        Sumner   IA                   76 years

Idaho –  LeRoy & Frances Ellwood                  Meridian ID                    71 years

Illinois – Dale & Doris Chatfield                      Chicago IL                      73 years

Indiana –  Jack & Thelma Flory                        New Haven  IN               69 years

Kansas –  Gilbert & Barbara Knipp                   Scott City  KS                72 years

Kentucky –  Bob & Agnes Schneider                Lexington KY               75  years

Louisiana – Charles & Nelda Bernard                 Lafayette LA                  70 years

Massachusetts – Malcolm & Ellen Brown            Westminster MA            70 years

Maryland – Joseph & Stella Sheleheda                  Solomons MD                73 years

Maine – Norm & Joan Putnam      Bryant              Pond  ME                     63 years

Michigan – Joseph & Margory Zelesky                  Flat Rock  MI            70 years

Minnesota – Pinky & Maree Skorich                    Marble  MN                   74 years

Missouri – Bob & Shirley Hill                                Arnold MO                     62 years

Mississippi – Thomas E. & Helen B. Haffey          Lexington MS                71 years

Montana – Ben & Betty Hanson                             Miles City  MT              69 years

North Carolina – Carl & Cyndi Whaley                  Richlands NC                76 years

North Dakota – Earl & Elizabeth Hanson               Cooperstown ND            71 years

Nebraska –  Harold & Iola (Ole) Meierhenry           Fremont   NE                  78 years

New Hampshire – Vincent & Ruth Trainor              Milton  NH                     76 years

New Jersey – Emil & Carol Tiusty                          Wallington  NJ                 65 years

New Mexico – Zack & Eloisa Montoya                Albuquerque NM           73 years

New York – John & Victoria Frontera                     West Seneca NY            72 years

Ohio – Earl and Maxine Martin                                Vienna OH                     71 years

Oklahoma – Andrew & Grace Stagner                             Hinton OK                     63 years

Oregon – Erman& Erma Johnston                                  Albany, OR                    78 years

Pennsylvania –  Paul & Martha Shannon                      New Castle PA                   72 years

Rhode Island – Philip & Norma Monte                         Narragansett RI                  66 years

South Carolina – A.J. & Margaret Lewis                     Columbia SC                      69 years

South Dakota – Durwood & Arlene Bouzek                Hot Springs SD                   64 years

Tennessee – Bernard & Doris Green                    Crossville TN                      68 years

Texas – Ted & Marie Keller                                  Amarillo TX                        73 years

Washington – John & Hilda Phillips                        Deer Park  WA                    70 years

Wisconsin – Joseph & Rosemary Grout                  Madison WI                          73 years

West Virginia – Vinton & Juanita Marshall           Bluefield WV                       70 years

Wyoming – Paul and Vivian Smith                         Big Piney WY                       73 years

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 42 years and
is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program.  The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities.  The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at the parish where the couples return to their homes in the evenings.   WWME has a presence in over 90 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.  To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online, go to wwme.org , or you can call 1-800-795-LOVE
(English) and 1-800-599-AMOR (Spanish), or contact the WWME Office at (909)

Media inquires should be directed to:

Dick& Diane Baumbach
(321) 544-3440 dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

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