America’s longest-living couple celebrates 85th wedding anniversary

(WOWT/KMIR) - They got married when he was 17 and she was 16.

“Everybody said it would never last," Ralph Kohler said.

But 85 years later, Ralph and Dorothy Kohler claim the record of America’s oldest, longest-living married couple.

This week marked the couple’s 85th wedding anniversary.

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

A few years ago, when the couple were in their 90s, they moved from Nebraska to California to be close to one of their daughters.

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

“I liked to cook, and he liked to eat,” Dorothy Kohler added.

In life, there’s something to be said for being agreeable. Each grew to love the passions of the other.

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

The yin and the yang of a couple with three kids and countless grandchildren and beyond.

Dorothy even became a trap shooting national champ 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 its hall of fame.

And when it comes to advice, he has 102 years of experience to share, including what to do if there’s conflict at home.

“If we had anything, a real problem, I agreed to it,” Ralph Kohler said. “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,” he said. “I’d like to be, but I doubt it. I think we’re pretty fortunate to be this far along.”

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