Nebraska natives celebrate 85 years of marriage

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TEKAMAH, Neb. (CNN) — They got married when he was just 17 and she was 16 and, “Everybody said it would never last,” commented Nebraska native Ralph Kohler.

Now 85-years later, the Nebraska couple holds the record of America’s oldest, longest living married couple.

Thursday marks Ralph and Dorothy Kohler’s 85th wedding anniversary.

“You don’t ever think you’d make it. We did. That was the main thing,” said Ralph.

A few years ago – when Ralph and Dorothy were in their 90’s – they moved from Nebraska to California to be close to one of their daughters.

Now, they claim the title of “America’s oldest, longest living married couple.”

Ralph commented that “Neither one of us ever smoked or drank, which that was no problem.”

Over the years, each grew to love the other’s passions.

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

Dorothy even became a trap shooting national champion in 1952.

Ralph spent most of his years outdoors as a commercial waterfowl guide. He wrote a book about his life and shares space with other legends of the outdoors in the hall of fame.

When it comes to advice, Ralph has 102-years of experience to share.

So, what should we do if there is conflict at home?

“If we had anything, a real problem, I agreed to it,” answered Ralph. “That’s the best way to get out of that.”

For a couple who knows the importance of setting goals, why not shoot for a 100th anniversary?

That’s 15-years isn’t it. I’d like to be, but I doubt it. I think we’re pretty fortunate to be this far along,” said Ralph.

Categories: Nebraska News