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For week ended March 12, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 17Mar00

Summarized by Joyce Feustel

LDS Couple Still Sweethearts After 72 Years
Deseret News 11Mar00 P2
By Lynn Arave: Deseret News staff writer

BOUNTIFUL, UTAH -- An LDS bishop asked a couple to wait to be married! In 1928, a bishop in the LDS church asked a couple to wait for two days while traveling 177 miles to Salt Lake Temple to be married. He did not want the couple, Cleao, (age 26) and Fern (age 16) McBride to travel together as an engaged couple, so they moved the date. They had planned on June 7, 1928. The result was two to be married so they could travel together as husband and wife....and the other to be married in the Salt Lake Temple for all time and eternity.

Today, almost 72 years later the couple is still happily married and living in Bountiful, Utah. They were feted on Thursday afternoon by Davis County, A Community of Promise Group, as it longest married couple.

Golden wedding anniversaries marking 50 years are fairly common these days. The Hallmark Wedding Anniversary list and others stop at 60 years. 60 is listed as the diamond milestone, and there's no official symbol designating a 70th or 75th wedding anniversary.

The McBrides say that to them, June 7 is the more important of their two wedding dates because their temple ceremony created an eternal marriage connotation. One of their 11 children, Sherry Gardner of Bountiful, said a major reason for their long marriage has been that they've made Heavenly Father a third partner in their marriage. "They've been very spiritual. I've never even heard them ever swear; they never, ever complain. They just have such positive attitudes and dad tells mother every single day that he loves her."

"We're just old people who believed in cooperating with each other, being honest with each other and avoid being negative." Fern McBride said when asked the basis for their long marriage. Her advice to young couples: "Don't be selfish or expect too much at first and cooperate. We have six boys, five girls, 45 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren."

McBride worked as a mail carrier for 30 years and estimates he has walked around the world twice. In those days, carriers walked a route, carrying their bags over their shoulders. He is an inventer of a lawn sprinkler which has sold some 10,000 peices and has written a book of jokes. He has served in three LDS bishoprics and on a high council. The couple served a full-time mission to California, Fresno. Fern, a talented pianist and organist, estimates she has played at over 2000 funerals during her lifetime. She also played for dance bands when she was younger.

The McBrides moved to Bountiful three years ago after Cleao had a stroke so they could be closer to family members. They pride themselves on being thankful for what they have and, in the face of occasional adversity, that things weren't worse.


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