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Top photo, Ferris Romaire, 92, and Margaret Smith Romaire, 91, of Morgan City, have been married more than 72 years. Bottom photo, Paul L. Wilson Sr., 93, and Yvonne Williams Wilson, 91, of Siracusa Subdivision near Morgan City, married over 71 years ago. Both couples were recently recognized as being among Louisiana’s longest married couples. (The Daily Review/Zachary Fitzgerald)

Morgan City couples among La.’s longest married

Two Morgan City-area couples have been recognized among Louisiana’s longest married couples for Valentine’s Day.

Louisiana Family Forum announced its 2019 Marriage Hall of Fame, and it includes Ferris Romaire , 92, and Margaret Smith Romaire, 91, of Morgan City. The Romaires, who have been married over 72 years, are listed as the 10th longest married couple living in Louisiana based on submissions sent to the family forum. They married Nov. 24, 1946.

Paul L. Wilson Sr., 93, and Yvonne Williams Wilson, 91, who live in Siracusa Subdivision near Morgan City and have been married over 71 years, were named as honorable mention to the forum’s Marriage Hall of Fame. The Wilsons are the 13th longest married couple on the family forum’s list having married Oct. 6, 1947.

The organization honored Wallace Menard and Gladys Menard of Duson as the state’s longest married couple with a marriage of more than 80 years. The couple married Sept. 17, 1938.

The Daily Review featured both the Romaires and Wilsons in its 2018 Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival edition.

Ferris and Margaret Romaire have one son and three daughters, two daughters living, along with eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Paul and Yvonne Wilson have two daughters and six sons, four sons living, along with 20 grandchildren, 67 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The Romaires attribute their long marriage to a variety of things, including staying active at Holy Cross Catholic Church and in the community, along with “good health” and “love of family.”

Ferris Romaire retired as vice president of E.J. Fields Machine Shop in 2002 after starting his career making 65 cents an hour. Margaret Romaire worked at a medical clinic in Morgan City to help put their children through college.

In the family forum’s article on the Marriage Hall of Fame, Margaret Romaire said activities such as walking gave both her and her husband time to think and led to the good health that has kept them together for seven decades. She also credits her husband’s help around the house with a happy marriage.

They met at Morgan City High School, and, in high school, Ferris used to routinely walk across the bridge from Morgan City to Berwick to get Margaret at her home and then go to the movies. He joined the Navy after graduating high school in 1944 and the couple courted for two years by mail.

The Romaires married about four months after Ferris was discharged from the Navy. They had a wedding ceremony that was so simple they had no photographs taken that day. So for their 70th anniversary in 2016, their granddaughter, Amanda Kleckley, set up a wedding-style photo shoot with photographer Lara Carter.

The key to the Wilsons’ over seven decades of marriage is understanding , Yvonne Wilson said.

As part of their 70th wedding anniversary celebration, the Wilsons received a proclamation and key to the city of Morgan City in 2017.

They belong to Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Morgan City, a church that Yvonne Wilson has attended her entire life. Yvonne is a Morgan City native, and Paul Wilson grew up in Patterson.

He was drafted into the Navy during World War II, served on the USS 357 in Europe and was part of the D-Day invasion when Allied forces invaded Normandy, France, at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

The Wilsons met in 1946 during Yvonne Wilson’s senior year of high school at her prom. They share a love of music. Paul Wilson plays the keyboard, and Yvonne Wilson plays the piano. He plays music by ear, while she reads sheet music. Their favorite hymn, “Through It All,” sums up their bond of over seven decades.

Paul Wilson worked as a crane operator for many years in Morgan City. Yvonne Wilson worked as a substitute teacher and later completed correspondence training at a nursing school in Chicago.

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