[UPDATE 11/23 9:00 AM]

The Iowa couple that's been married the longest lives right here in Cedar Rapids! Congratulations to Joyce and Harold Schaefer, pictured below. Their niece, Julie Hamilton, tells us they were married on September 18, 1947, in Conroy, Iowa. Congratulations to Joyce and Harold on 74 years together! The happy couple celebrated their 95th (Harold) and 93rd (Joyce) birthdays this past summer.

The photo below is from Joyce and Harold's 73rd anniversary in 2020.

Photo submitted by Julie Hamilton

Maybe I should say to our knowledge, they're the longest-married couple in Iowa. Turns out this story that I did last week based on the Worldwide Marriage Encounter was a little off. Their findings are based on nominations.

If anyone in Iowa can top the incredible 74-plus years of Harold and Joyce, please let me know.

[ORIGINAL STORY] The longest-married couple in the state of Iowa has been together long enough to see 14 different presidents in the White House. When they were married, you could get a pound of bacon for 77 cents and the milkman would bring a half-gallon to your door for just 44 cents.

For Richard Heil, it was love at first sight when he saw Rosalene Neuroth in March of 1947. Harry S. Truman was President of the United States at the time. Richard told the Times-Republican, "She was beautiful. Simple as that." Rosalene liked what she saw, too: "He was tall, dark, and handsome."

Rosalene and Richard would marry the following year, on August 9, 1948. They lived most of their lives together on a farm near Haverville, Iowa, but moved to Marshalltown in the late 1990s. This past summer, they celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary, good for the longest current marriage in Iowa, according to the Worldwide Marriage Encounter that's been honoring long-married U.S. couples for more than a decade.

Not only have they done a great job nurturing their love for one another for more than seven decades, but Rosalene (91) and Richard (95) also have a huge family. The Times-Republican reports they have seven kids and 27 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Heil's are also great Iowa farmers. They're 4th and 5th from left in the 2019 photo below when their family was recognized with one of the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader awards at the Iowa State Fair. On Rosalene's right is their son Jeff. On Richard's left, is Jeff's wife Barbara. They were also recognized. According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, "the award acknowledges farmers who take voluntary actions to improve or protect the environment and our state’s natural resources."

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

The Heil's were nominated by John and Sue Fink, who attend St. Henry Catholic Church in Marshalltown with the couple. The Fink's also work for Worldwide Marriage Encounter, according to the Times-Republican.

EIN Presswire reports there are several other Midwest couples nearing their Diamond (75th) Anniversary:

  • Illinois: Norma & Roy May (74 years)
  • Missouri: Marion & Irvin Benes (71 years)
  • Nebraska: Audrey & Dale Caskey (74 years)
  • South Dakota: Mary & Marvin Kalt (72 years)
  • Wisconsin: Marian & Ray Etzel (70 years)

Congratulations to all the couples above. Here's to many more for all of you.

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