Texas' longest married couple celebrates 82nd anniversary in Paris

Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 6:43 PM CDT
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The longest-married couple in Texas was recognized by Governor Greg Abbott last week after they celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary.

This was not the first time the Paris couple had been recognized.

They were first awarded the title of 'Longest Married Couple in Texas' back in 2018.

The couple celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary on October 17th, making them the longest-married couple in Texas for the second time in a row, and the third longest-married couple in the United States.

Born in Ada, the now 100-year-old Johnnie Leroy Chaffin worked the majority of his life as a cement mason, as well as singing and playing guitar with his family band.

Fannie Chaffin, of Ashdown, Arkansas, is now 97, and worked lots of odd jobs, like waitressing at El Fenix, selling Avon Cosmetics, and working as a nurse's aid.

"Well there weren't many men around to marry," said Fannie.

She also was a mother to their 6 children.

"I said, 'Momma my kids are getting old,' and she said, well look at mine," said Linda Reavis, one of the couple's six children.

Reavis said her parents used to play together when they were little, and met again in their teens.

She says they lived in different counties but saw each other when they could.

They eventually got married in 1937. Fannie was just 15, and Leroy was 17.

"Being the age they are - that's a century. They've been through so much in 100 years and that's what amazes me," said Reavis.

The couple went through hard times like living through the great depression and sickness, to happy times, like over 200 grandchildren, spanning over six generations.

Their secret to a long-lasting marriage?

"Love is all I know. Love is one of the greatest things in the world if it's done right. And that's the way it is," Leroy said.

"I did love you. So much, that's why we had a house full of kids," said Fannie.