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 ceremonies....one 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
"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.