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World’s Oldest Couple on Staying Married 80 Years: “Be Good Partners … Give and Take”

A Look Behind: Love and Happiness

Love and Happiness

The holiday season is always an extra-special time for Austinites John and Charlotte Henderson, whose wedding anniversary falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this year just might take the cake. The couple will celebrate 80 years since they tied the knot on December 15. And there’s the recent declaration by Guinness World Records that the Hendersons are the oldest living married couple in the world, with a combined age of 211 years (John is 106 and Charlotte is 105). The Hendersons, who met at the University of Texas in a zoology class in 1934 and wed five years later, say their favorite memory from the season comes from their 50th anniversary, which they celebrated with family at the Austin Country Club. “It was the coldest night,” John recalls. “I remember reading in the paper it was a record low temperature in Austin. They seated us by the fire, and we were the only customers there. The dinner and service were very good.” To couples snuggling by the fire this winter wondering how the world’s oldest couple makes their love last, the Hendersons share this simple advice: “Be good partners. Don’t try to overwhelm each other in any way. Give and take.”

Pictures of John and Charlotte Henderson through the ages.