The couple in question is William and Lorene Troop, who will mark their 80th wedding anniversary on Oct. 23. They are 97 and 96 years old, respectively, and have lived at the National Health Corporation’s Health Care Center in Madisonville since March 2005.
Jim, who lives in Cadiz, said he had wondered who held the record for the longest marriage and so he went on the Guinness Records Web site about six weeks ago to find out. He discovered that the record was held by Percy and Florence Arrowsmith of Hereford, England, who celebrated their 80th anniversary on June 1, 2005. Two weeks later, Percy died at the age of 105, leaving Florence a widow.
After reading about the couple, Jim decided to head to the Hopkins County Courthouse and pick up a copy of the Troops’ marriage certificate so he could send the information to the Guinness offices in London. He doesn’t know when or if he’ll hear back from them, but he hopes he will.
“I just think if someone’s been married 80 years, they deserve recognition,” he said.
Danny Belcher, NHC Health Care Center’s chief administrator, said he has never seen a couple that is as close as William and Lorene. Sadly, Lorene suffers from a form of dementia, so she doesn’t remember much or always know where she is. However, she still recognizes William as her husband and responds to his voice and presence, Belcher said.
“Sometimes you’ll see them holding hands and smiling and pawing at each other,” he said.
William is hard of hearing and could speak over the phone for an interview, but Belcher said it is obvious how much he cares for his wife.
“It’s not often that you see a couple carry that kind of passion over into the December of their lives,” he said.