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State Winners for 2018 Longest Married Couple Project Announced by Worldwide Marriage Encounter
 
Contact: Dick & Diane Baumbach, Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), 321-544-3440, dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2018 /Christian Newswire/ -- The 2018 state winners of the eighth annual Longest Married Couple Project, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country, were announced today.
"At this time of year with Valentine's Day approaching and the Olympics right around the corner, it is amazing to us the number of state winner couples who are truly Gold Medal champions-- having been married 70 years or more," explained Joe & Sue Talarico and Fr. Tom Ogg, the United States Leadership Team for WWME.
"As in previous years there were many, many nominations submitted," the Talaricos explained, adding, "And, again we witnessed couples married 40 or 50 years being recognized by family and friends as they submitted their names to the Longest Married Couple Project."
The 2018 longest married couple in the United States, based on the nominations submitted, is Mota & Avanelle Young from Bowling Green, KY.   They are married over 81 years having made their marriage vows on April 14, 1936. The Talaricos and Fr. Ogg will be honoring Mr. & Mrs. Young in a special ceremony in their hometown of Bowling Green at the Holiday Inn University Plaza this coming Valentine's Day weekend.
The WWME leadership team noted that there were two other couples married 80 plus years and they are state winners.
As in previous years of the 8-year project, individual state winners will also be recognized and honored by couples involved with Worldwide Marriage Encounter over the Valentine's weekend. or at a time convenient for the winning state couple and their families.
Winners of the project are automatically made 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 Talaricos also pointed out that the project is based on nominations received from October 10th the previous year to January 10th of the current year. They also said there were no nominations this year from five states.
The list of the 2018 state winners and their hometowns and wedding dates are as follows:
Alabama  
Mike & Ann Boland                        Tuscaloosa, AL            August 14, 1971     46 years
Alaska
Clyde & Mary Lovel                        Anchorage, AK            June 17, 1954         63 years
Arizona
Peter & Virginia Benenati                Scottsdale, AZ              July, 1950              67 years
Arkansas
Raymond & Mary Jean Troillet        Little Rock, AR             Oct 7, 1946            71 years
California
Francis & Genevieve Ferry             Auburn, CA                  July 23, 1943           74 years
Colorado
Emil(Rusty) & Elizabeth(Betty) Siefken   Ft Collins, CO    April 14, 1944         73 years
Connecticut
LeRoy & Dorothy Bredenburg         Southbury, CT           Dec 24, 1937              80 years
Delaware
Creadick Sr. & Doris Powell              Wilmington, DE         Sept 3, 1949            68 years
Florida
Benny & Angela Addeo                    Delray Beach, FL         Sept 11, 1948          69 years
Georgia
Robert & Catherine Pollard                Roswell, GA            April 25, 1946            71 years
Hawaii
Sotero & Caridad Ragasa                     Honolulu, HI            Nov 11, 1949            68 years
Illinois
Ray & Lucille Tiburzi                          Staunton, IL             Aug 27, 1940             77 years
Indiana
Ray & Barbara Glaze                          Plainfield, IN            Dec 31, 1947              70 years
Iowa
Merlwin & Violet Lindner                  Nashua, IA                  Nov 24, 1942            75 years
Kansas
Chester & Ruth Wenger                      Whiting, KS               Feb 4, 1948                69 years
Kentucky (State & National Winners)
Mota & Avanelle Young                     Bowling Green, KY     April 14, 1936          81 years
Louisiana
Charles & Rita Serio                           Morganza, LA               May 16, 1942           76 years
Maine
Heck & Doris Bardsley                      York, ME                        Jan 7, 1943               75 years
Maryland
Jennings & Mary Cross                      Hughesville, MD            Aug 30, 1947            70 years
Massachusetts
George & Mary Hersey                      Brockman, MA                  Jan 6, 1946             71 years
Michigan
Roy & Anita Harrington                     Wyoming, MI                     June 28, 1941        76 years
Minnesota
Marvin & Ellen Scheuble                   Montrose, MN                   June 6, 1944            73 years
Missouri
Lenos & Wilma Meneely                      Meadville, MO                  Dec 25, 1944          73 years
Montana
Irvin & Jean Weathermon                    Laurel, MT                          Sept 10, 1947         70 years
Nebraska
Raymond & Margaret Davis                Bassett, NE                          March 7, 1944        73 years
New Hampshire
Phil & Maggie Nicoloff                        Durham, NH                       March 31, 1951       66 years
New Jersey
David & Margaret Jaffe                         Scotch Plains, NJ                Jan 2, 1944                74 years
New Mexico
Frank & Jeanette Devoti                        Albuquerque, NM               Jan 29, 1947             70 years
New York
Arnold & Margaret Schultz                    Troy, NY                            Sept 18, 1943          74 years
North Carolina
Jack & Betty Gunkle                              Greensboro, NC                 Dec 20, 1940           77 years
North Dakota
Pete & Mary Ellen Naaden                     Braddock, ND                    Nov 29, 1947            70 years
Ohio
Esher & Catherine Lingel                       Reynoldsburg, OH            Aug 29, 1942             75 years
Oklahoma
Arden & Thelma Lee Crum                  Oklahoma City, OK            July 8, 1942                75 years
Oregon
Bill & Mary Trumm                            Canby, OR                           Nov 28, 1945             72 years
Pennsylvania
Elmer & Gertrude Greey, Jr                Shippensburg, PA              Sept 27, 1952            65 years
Rhode Island
Donald & Patricia Turbitt                    Gloucester, RI                    April 20, 1961           56 years
South Carolina
Fred & Nema Holmes                          Greenville, SC                    April 12, 1941           76 years
South Dakota
Robert & Genevieve Brechtel              Vale, SD                             May 20, 1946            71 years
Tennessee
John & Grace Gridley                           Chattanooga, TN               Jan 31, 1948              69 years
Texas
Leroy & Fannie Sanders                       Powderly, TX                       Oct 16, 1937          80 years
Vermont
Theodore & Florence Lindgren                  Springfield, VT                 June 20, 1942        75 years
Virginia
John & Maria Cassidy                                Arlington, VA                    Aug 20, 1949         68 years
Washington
Alfred & Elinor Fergen                             Snohomish, WA                Aug 20, 1946          71 years
Wisconsin
Tom & Margaret Stephens                       New Richmond, WI             Sept 22, 1944        73 years
Wyoming
Howard & Joan Kunesh                          Sheridan, WY                       Jan 11, 1947          71 years
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 50 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 facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 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 contact the WWME Office at (909) 863-9963.
Media inquiries should be directed to:
Dick & Diane Baumbach
(321) 544-3440 dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net


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