John and Charlotte Henderson met in 1934 in a zoology class at the University of Texas. John, who was 21-years-old at the time, sat directly behind Charlotte Curtis and he instantly noticed her. Charlotte also didn’t “mind his looking over her shoulder.”
Fast forward 80 years and now the couple is celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary which is being recognized by The Guinness World Records as the oldest living married couple.
The couple has a combined age of 211 years and 175 days and recently celebrated 80 years of marriage.
This isn’t John’s first world record. He also holds the record of the oldest living former University of Texas football player.
Even though the couple has forgotten how many years they’ve been together, John says, “I remember the wedding day, the day we got married, as though it were yesterday because it’s so vivid in my mind.”
“I have to ask him how long we’ve been married because, from year to year, I just forget,” said Charlotte Henderson, according to KVUE.
They got married five years after they met during the Great Depression of 1939. Their wedding ceremony only had two guests present.
“It took her five years to make up her mind that she wanted to get married,” joked John.
After getting married, Charlotte became a teacher in Houston and John coached football and basketball.
They also said they only spent $7 on their honeymoon by staying in a hotel in San Antonio.
They currently live in a retirement community in Austin, Texas.
They both retired in 1972.
Their nephew, Jason Free who was the one who contacted Guinness Book of Records, said the couple is still planning for the future by saying, “They don’t dwell on the past. You won’t hear them say, ‘Oh, if only it were 1952 again, everything would be great.’ They are still making plans for their future together.” He also goes on to say, “They are a wonderful couple, and an example of a very happy couple — glad to be around each other, travel together, and live life.”
The couple had no children during their long marriage which some joke may be the secret to their longevity.
He does add that exercise has been the key factor to their long health.
His advice is “live life in moderation and being cordial to your spouse.”
“In our ages, we’ve slowed down somewhat. We used to go on cruises, but now we have to take it easy. We like watching sports and talking about what we’re going to do tomorrow.”
To celebrate their 80 years together, 106-year-old John picked up 105-year-old Charlotte in a 1920s roadster with a bouquet of flowers, much like he didn’t on their first date.
Even though they hold the record for the oldest living couple, they don’t actually hold the record for the longest marriage which was set back in 2011. Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, married at the age of 17 and 19, respectively, were married for 86 years and 290 days until Herbert died in 2011.