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Contest names Aurora couple longest married in Illinois

Doris 91 Dale 100 were married Oct. 29 1938. The Aurorcouple moved Alden Waterford Continuing Care Retirement Community campus seven

Doris, 91, and Dale, 100, were married Oct. 29, 1938. The Aurora couple moved to Alden of Waterford Continuing Care Retirement Community campus seven years ago to be closer to their family. | Jane Donahue/For Sun-Times Media/Beacon News 20120210 Friday,Aurora

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Updated: March 15, 2012 8:09AM

On Oct. 29, 1938, Doris and Dale Chatfield exchanged vows during a ceremony in a church basement in Denver, Colo. They promised to love, honor and cherish each other. More than 73 years later, they still do.

Their wedding day was simple; their marriage extraordinary.

“I went to Denver in 1936 to get rich, but I found a jewel there instead,” said Dale, 100. “If you would give me one of your millions, I wouldn’t trade her for it. I lucked out.”

Doris shared the sentiment.

“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Doris, 91. “We are really blessed — not with money — but that’s OK. What can I say? Dale is a good man.”

On Feb. 10, the Chatfields were recognized during a ceremony at the Alden of Waterford Continuing Care Retirement Community for winning a Worldwide Marriage Encounter contest for the longest married couple in Illinois. The organization selected the state and national winners based on nominations of longtime married couples from around the country . This year, 256 nominations were received from 47 states. Wilbur and Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nev., married for 78 years, were selected as the longest-married couple in the United States.

The Chatfields’ granddaughter, Laura Chatfield, said Doris and Dale are role models not just for married couples but for everyone.

“They are extremely positive people,” Laura said. “I think part of it is their background made them so grateful and appreciative for what they do have. But I also think a huge part of it is their relationship with the Lord. They have fully committed their life to the Lord, and when you do that, the Lord blesses you in a lot of other areas.”

They have lived in the Alden of Waterford duplexes for the past seven years. They have two children; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Doris said there isn’t a secret to their long and happy marriage. In fact, it’s simple:

“We live a simple life,” Doris said. “We don’t smoke, we don’t drink, and we go to church. We enjoy the little things in life.”

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