Iowa's Longest Married Couple Shares the Secret of Lasting Love

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter


By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The year was 1935. Gas was 10 cents a gallon, Franklin D. Roosevelt was President and Babe Ruth had his last home run. It’s also the year John and Anna Dwyer got married. Going on 78 years strong, they are the longest married couple in Iowa.

John and Anna Dwyer were just 16 years old when they met for the first time

“My friends and I were supposed to meet a couple girls from Marion. We were just looking around, and I saw this girl with a...You had a pink ribbon in your hair, was it? My Marion girls wasn't too happy," John Dwyer recalls.

Dwyer said he knew right away Anna was the one. Three years later, they were ready to get married, but it was the middle of the Great Depression, so they didn’t have money for a big fancy wedding.

“We were married by the mayor of Cedar Rapids,” Anna Dwyer said.

Dwyer didn't own a wedding dress and no photographer was there to save their memories, just this couple in love and their two best friends. Seventy-eight years later, they have three children, 11 grandchildren and are still very much in love.

“I’m happy we’ve had that many years together,” Anna Dwyer said. The Dwyers said there is one secret to such a successful marriage.

“We would forgive,” Anna Dwyer said.

“Her patience with me, I think that’s the secret,” John Dwyer said. The Dwyers will celebrate their 78th wedding anniversary on April 2.

Even after all these years, they said they still celebrate Valentines, John got Anna a little heart shaped vase with a bouquet of red flowers.

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