South Carolina’s Longest-Standing Couple Shares Marriage Secrets
In a world filled with uncertainty and instability, there’s nothing quite as heart-warming a happy love story. Especially one so nearby. Ralph and Mary Bass are South Carolina’s longest-standing couple, having been married for 74 years. Below, they share their secrets to a marriage that has stood the test of time and how they have overcome some challenging obstacles.
She was 15 at the time. He was 18.
“As soon as I seen her, she was my baby,” Bass said of his wife.
Their relationship rolled into a marriage that has lasted 74 years and helped them gain the honor of being named South Carolina’s 2017 Longest Married Couple, by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the country’s “original faith-based marriage enrichment program.”
The project is based on nominations received from Oct. 10 the previous year to Jan. 10 of the current year, according to Joe and Sue Talarico, the United States Leadership Team for WWME.
Bass said when a friend he’d delivered Meals On Wheels with nominated him and his wife for the annual honor, “we didn’t give it a thought.”
After learning that he and Mary — married on Aug. 15, 1942 — were selected for South Carolina, Bass said, “It’s nice when you’re old and get some kind of recognition like that.
“It makes you feel good. It makes me feel good,” he said.
What also makes him feel good is making Mary, 89, feel good.
He does that by telling her how he feels about her 365 days a year.
“I love her more today than I did yesterday. She’s everything,” he said.