- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa couple have been honored for having what one organization says is the longest-lasting marriage in the state at 79 years.

Alvin and Eula Blankenship’s marriage was celebrated at a reception Sunday, The Daily Nonpareil reported (https://bit.ly/1fKQqpq ).

The retired farming couple were surprised when the Worldwide Marriage Encounter group told them they had the longest marriage in Iowa.

“It surprised me. I thought surely there’d be more out there than us,” said 100-year-old Eula Blankenship. “Just a surprise.”

Eula Blankenship said she’s not sure there’s any great secret about why the couple stayed together, but it helps that Alvin is a pretty good guy.



“We just stayed married,” Eula Blankenship said. “We began all right and kept going.”

The couple married in Magnolia on June 12, 1934 - not far from her childhood home in Woodbine and his in Logan. They honeymooned in Omaha.

Since then, they have visited all 48 lower United States by car or bus.

Eula Blankenship said she and her 99-year-old husband have always loved to dance and travel.

For more than 38 years, the couple farmed land in western Iowa. They sold the farm and moved to Logan in 1975. Alvin Blankenship continued working on farms and helping with horses for a few more years before getting hurt in a fall.

Then the couple moved to Council Bluffs to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law. Today they have two grandchildren, six great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Now the Blankenships will be able to show their family certificates from Gov. Terry Branstad and President Barack Obama commending them on their long marriage.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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