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New London Couple Recognized as State’s Longest Married Couple

Posted on February 15, 2024 in: News, Marriage

New London Couple Recognized as State’s Longest Married Couple

New London Couple Recognized as State’s Longest Married Couple


In each of the 71 years that Russell and Pauline DeMarco have been married, their love for each other has grown stronger. How does such an enduring love last despite the challenges and differences that all married couples face? The answer, the couple says, lies with two necessary and key ingredients – patience and understanding.

As a way of recognizing and honoring the enduring love of couples like the DeMarcos, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, (WWME) a faith-based marriage enrichment program, sponsors an annual project to find couples who have been married the longest from each of the 52 states. Of the nominees received from 2023, the DeMarcos were named The ‘Longest Married Couple’ for the State of Connecticut.

Recently, Frank and Margie Pearson, parishioners at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish in Storrs and the WWME leadership couple for this area, presented the DeMarcos with a certificate recognizing them as the 2023 Connecticut winner. The Pearsons also presented the couple with a special certificate and citation noting their names were read in the United States House of Representatives as Connecticut’s Longest Married Couple.

An Illinois couple who have been married 79 years, were named the National Longest Married Couple from nominations received across the United States.  Worldwide Marriage Encounter created the project in 2011 to emphasize to younger couples that long-term committed marriages do exist and can go the distance.

Last year, the DeMarcos were one of 67 couples from across the Diocese who attended the Annual Diocesan Silver and Golden Anniversary Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Cote at St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich. All registered couples celebrating 50 years or more of marriage were asked to share a snippet of their love story by answering a series of questions for a special Anniversary Booklet created by the Diocesan Catholic Family Services Office. The DeMarcos were one of 23 couples who participated in that booklet. When asked what role faith has played in their enduring loves story, the couple wrote, “It is our anchor allowing us to persevere through thick and thin.”

In describing their advice to newlyweds, the DeMarcos wrote, “Be able to accept whatever surprises you. Pray you will endure and allow the Almighty to do the rest.”

Their 71-year enduring love story has created a loving family of three daughters, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The couple live in New London and are parishioners at St. Brendan the Navigator Parish also in New London. On January 17, they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Experience has been offering marriage enrichment experiences for over 50 years. The experience gives couples the opportunity to spend time focusing on each other; provides them with tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today’s world; and learn skills not only to improve their relationship but to thrive together for years to come. There is no group sharing and the experience respects the privacy of each couple.

For more information about upcoming experiences in this area contact Frank and Margie Pearson at 860-337-2447, or call Mary-Jo McLaughlin at Catholic Family Services, 860-848-2237, Ext. 312.

By Mary-Jo McLaughlin

Russell and Pauline DeMarco on their wedding day January 17, 1953, and today holding a certificate and citation they received from Worldwide Marriage Encounter recognizing them as the 2023 State of Connecticut Longest Married Couple.








Frank and Margie Pearson, parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Hope Parish, Storrs, and the local leadership couple for Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) meet with Russell and Pauline DeMarco, parishioners of St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in New London. The Pearsons recognized the DeMarcos as the 2023 recipient from the State of Connecticut of Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s annual Longest Married Couple Project. The DeMarcos have been married for 71 years.

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