Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Platinum Couples Are Revered, Rare; Their Numbers Are Hard to Track, but the First Coast Has at Least Five

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Platinum Couples Are Revered, Rare; Their Numbers Are Hard to Track, but the First Coast Has at Least Five

Article excerpt

Byline: DEIRDRE CONNER

Roy Adams can still remember the instant he fell in love - "I knew right at first sight," he likes to say.

The place was Cordele, Ga. The girl was Carrie Mae Thomas.

The day was July 4, 1936.

Across the Florida state line, Paul Rhoden was on a double date with Violet, his future wife. She was beginning to get a little jealous, because his date was the other girl. They'd known each other for years, but their romance developed slowly.

Two years later, both couples married.

Their love stories are different, but their milestone this year was the same: A 70th anniversary.

The feat is so rare that it appears no one is sure precisely how many couples have achieved it. There are so few that even the U.S. Census Bureau doesn't track them, a spokesman said.

At least five couples in Northeast Florida have celebrated 70 years or more of marriage - often called the platinum anniversary - in the past six months. The time they have had together is nearly as long as the average life expectancy for men in the United States.

"Some people say they wouldn't want to do it again," Emily Wurn, 91, said of her adventures with her husband of 73 years, Lonnie, 97. "But I would. I would relive every year happily."

The golden, or 50th anniversary, used to be enough for a write-up in the local paper. These days, 70 years is the new standard for those revered for their longevity.

In the 1930s, people were younger when they married than couples in the 1950s, according to Census figures. So we could be in for a wave of platinum anniversaries.

But it may not last long.

Even with improvements in medicine, 70-year anniversaries will likely be more rare for those who tie the knot in 2008. Today, divorce rates are higher, and the average age at which people marry has steadily increased since 1960.

All of the 70-year couples, of course, have different advice for those who aspire to what they've done.

The Rhodens say true love and forgiveness have made their partnership possible. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.