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Record-setting couple credits 'togetherness' for 86-year marriage

In 86 years, Ralph and Dorothy Kohler have done everything you can think of together — including compromise.
Credit: CNN Newsource

INDIO, California — After 86 years together, a California couple is celebrating life as the longest-married couple in the U.S.

Ralph Kohler, 104, said the secret to a long marriage is simple: "togetherness."

Sept. 16 marked 86 years of marriage to his wife, Dorothy, who is now 103. The couple tied the knot in Tekemah, Nebraska, in 1935, and they've been inseparable ever since.

Last year, their nuptials got Congressional recognition. Ralph said his bond with his wife has transcended decades, thanks in part to compromise. From bowling to ballroom dancing, the pair enjoyed each other's hobbies together.

Ballroom dancing took them around the country, and they've earned hundreds of awards over the years. They also got into trap shooting, and both Ralph and Dorothy were on the All-American trap shooting team at different times. In 1952, their son joined the action, too.

Ralph said that was the only time in history a mother-father-child trio had been on the team in the same year.

Reflecting on his marriage, Ralph only had good things to say about his other half, noting how little they argued.

"A sharp word once in a while, maybe," Ralph said. "But it didn't last."

Their marriage has paved the way for a big family: six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

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