Togetherness: The Secret of the ‘Longest Living Married Couple’

After 86 years of marriage, one couple shares their secret to a happy marriage. Ralph Kohler is 104 years old, and his wife, Dorothy Kohler, is 103. Their anniversary is September 16th, and they celebrated 86 years of marriage bliss this year! During that time, the couple’s love gave birth to three children, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

In 1935, the couple married in Tekamah, Nebraska. Ralph was 18 years old at the time, and Dorothy was 17 years old. Just a couple of young children who are madly in love! Initially, the couple was denied a marriage license because a court official believed they were too young to marry. But the couple simply moved their wedding to a different location. And now look at them, celebrating so many years of marriage!


The couple celebrated their anniversary in the presence of many relatives as well as media personnel. They also received a large number of congratulatory letters from members of the community.

According to Ralph Kohler, even though they preferred different activities, the two would always compromise to give the other what they wanted. He enjoyed clay target shooting, and his wife enjoyed ballroom dancing, so they pursued both interests. As a result of this compromise, they became fierce competitors across the United States, winning hundreds of awards in trapshooting and dancing.

Credit: WTHR/YouTube

Ralph has been dubbed a “waterfowling luminary” by the prestigious Outdoor Life magazine in an article published on August 30, 2016, in which his hunting career is recounted beginning at the age of 13. Dorothy won a national shooting championship in 1952, and they were both inducted into the Nebraska Trapshooting Association’s Hall of Fame. Their son joined the fray as well. Ralph stated that it was the first time in history that a mother-father-child trio was on the same team in the same year.

The Kohlers, the country’s longest-living married couple, were recognized and honored by Congress last year. The couple’s unbreakable bond allowed them to raise three children, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren over the years.

Ralph said that the secret to a long marriage is “togetherness.” “Neither of us ever smoked or drank,” Ralph continued, claiming that this was another advantage that contributed to the longevity of their marriage.

A husband or a wife is a good gift from the Lord. In Genesis 2:21-25, it says, 

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

    and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

    because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.