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Conn. couple named 'longest married' in US

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Ann and John Betar (photo by Lidia Ujkaj | Fox 5 News) Ann and John Betar (photo by Lidia Ujkaj | Fox 5 News)

John and Ann Betar of Connecticut have been married so long they're getting national recognition.

The Fairfield spouses, who tied the knot more than 80 years ago, have been named the 2013 "longest married couple" in the United States by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a group in San Bernardino, Calif., dedicated to improving Christian marriages.

The Betars will be presented with the honor and gifts at their granddaughter's home in Fairfield on Saturday.

"It is truly an honor and a privilege to recognize John and Ann Betar for their commitment to marriage," said Ron and Judy Pekny, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We are looking forward to personally recognizing them on Feb. 9th in their hometown of Fairfield," they added. The Peknys serve with Fr. Rocky Grimard, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement. Fr. Grimard will also be at the presentation.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter says the longest married couple is based on nominations, so there may be others who have been married longer.

John is 101 years old and Ann is 97. The two grew up as neighbors in Bridgeport and got married on Nov. 25, 1932. They have five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

The Betars lived across the street from each other and John used to drive Ann to school in his Ford Roadster. Ann was supposed to marry someone else in a marriage pre-arranged by her father, but the two eloped and went off to Harrison, N.Y., to get married. John has been quoted as saying, "some people said it would never last. We showed them."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

(Updated story corrects earlier version on length of their marriage)

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