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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Black Couple Married For 84 Years, Possibly Longest Married Couple in America

Cleovis and Arwilda Whiteside

Nationwide — Cleovis and Arwilda Whiteside, a remarkable couple from Arkansas, have been married for a whopping 84 years. They have just been recognized by the Family Council as possibly the longest-married couple in the entire country.

Cleovis and Arwilda were just at the age of 17 and 13 when they got married on July 24, 1939. Now 102 and 98 years old, the couple have been together for more than 8 decades, sharing that the secret to their long-lasting marriage is their faith in God.

“We can hardly believe this is happening to us because we feel like we were the least, but God said, ‘No. You’ll glorify my name and love one another,'” Arwilda told KATV.

To celebrate this incredible milestone, the Family Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes and protects traditional family values, organized a private fish fry reception for the couple and their loved ones.

Since 2019, the Whitesides have been acknowledged as the longest-married couple in the entire state of Arkansas. They might even hold the title of the longest-married couple in the whole of America, according to Arkansas Family Council project coordinator Charisse Dean.

Their love story began when Cleovis came to the rescue of Arwilda and her friend Caroline many years ago. They met when some boys started chasing the girls on their way home from school. Caroline told Arwilda to seek protection from Cleovis, and he stepped in to help. Years later, they crossed paths again at a church box supper, and Caroline’s matchmaking efforts led to their marriage.

Today, Cleovis and Arwilda, who share 12 children, serve as an inspiration to couples and friends alike, proving that true love can endure for a lifetime. They expressed their gratitude to all who joined them at the fish fry event.

“May God bless you and I thank you for being here today, every one of you,” Cleovis said.