Centenarian Couple Celebrates Eight Decades Of Marriage Becoming The Worlds’ Oldest Living Couple
According to world data, the average life expectancy for men is 81 and 50 in women. That is why it is not uncommon for us to be surprised every time we learn that a person was able to surpass that life expectancy age bracket. In fact, a couple from Texas has proven that they can live more than that age!
John and Charlotte Henderson were recently hailed as the oldest living couple by the Guinness World Records. That is because John is 106 and Charlotte is 105. They have a combined age of 211. Last December 15, 2019, the couple celebrated their 80 years of marriage.
The couple met when they were just students at the University of Texas in 1934. They were both in zoology class and John Henderson sat next to Charlotte Curtis not but choice, but because the seating arrangement was alphabetical order.
John can still recall the first time Charlotte turned and smiled at him. Right then and there, he knew that he wanted to ask her out. He said, “Charlotte looked over her shoulder and smiled, and I knew I wanted to take her on a date… She was anxious for me to ask her!” During their interview with The Washington Post, Charlotte said, “I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder.”
John Henderson played football while Charlotte was studying to be a teacher. In fact, John also holds the record of being the oldest living former University of Texas football player.
When asked, the couple seemed to have forgotten how many years they have been together. But they have vivid memories of their wedding day. For them, it will always be etched into their minds. John said, “I remember the wedding day, the day we got married, as though it were yesterday because it’s so vivid in my mind.” Charlotte added, “I have to ask him how long we’ve been married because, from year to year, I just forget.”
The couple tied the knot during the great depression in 1939. They married 5 years after they first met. John jokingly said, “It took her five years to make up her mind that she wanted to get married.” Their wedding was a small one. On their wedding day on December 22, 1939, they only had two guests and spent only $7 on a hotel for their honeymoon.
Charlotte became a teacher in Houston and John coached football and basketball. They struggled financially at first but they were able to save enough before they lived together in their new home. Charlotte continued to be a teacher and John had a long career at the Humble Oil and Refining Co before he retired in 1972.
They had no children and people are speculating that this is the reason for their longevity. John said, “Some people think it’s because we never had kids!” The couple’s nephew, Jason Free, shared that John and Charlotte are still planning for their future. He said, “They don’t dwell on the past. You won’t hear them say, ‘Oh, if only it were 1952 again, everything would be great.’ They are still making plans for their future together.”
John and Charlotte are now living in a retirement community in Austin, Longhorn Village.