Nebraskans celebrate 85th anniversary as Americas longest-living couple

Today marks Ralph and Dorothy Kohler’s 85th wedding anniversary. Think about that -- 85-years together in marriage.
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:04 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If we told you we were doing a story on a Nebraska couple living past the century mark — that’s an incredible feat of health and endurance.

But this isn’t one of those stories.

This couple has something else to tout — something none of us can claim.

The year: 1935. A young couple comes here to the Burt County Courthouse in Tekamah to get married.

He’s 17; she’s 16. The first judge wouldn’t marry them. But then they found another one who did.

“Everybody said it would never last,” said Ralph.

Boy, were they wrong.

Thursday marked Ralph and Dorothy Kohler’s 85th wedding anniversary. Think about that: 85 years together in marriage.

“You don’t ever think you’d make it. We did. That’s 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.

You would need a limo to fit in all the words of the accomplishment.

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

“Neither one of us ever smoked and drank,” Ralph said.

“I cooked, and he liked to eat,” Dorothy said.

In life, there’s something to be said for being agreeable. Each grew to love the passions of the other — the ying and yang of a couple with three kids and countless grandchildren and beyond.

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

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 it and shares space with other legends of the outdoors in a hall of fame.

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

So what should we do if there’s conflict at home?

“If we ever had a problem, I agreed to it. That’s the best way to get out of them,” Ralph said.

And 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," Ralph said. “I think we’re pretty fortunate to be this far along.”

So much for the doubters.

Happy 85th anniversary Ralph And Dorothy!

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