Centenarians married 80 years, newlyweds and second-graders describe how to make love last
After a combined 200 years of living, 79 wedding anniversaries, four kids, 11 grandkids and 22 great grandkids, Edith and Norman Warren say they harbor no regrets. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
“Oh, my word,” 99-year-old Edith Warren said. “What isn’t to like?”
“What?” 101-year-old Norman Warren asked her.
“About you,” Edith said. “He’s still my favorite fella.”
After a combined 200 years of living, 79 wedding anniversaries, four kids, 11 grandkids and 22 great grandkids, Edith and Norman Warren say they harbor no regrets.
“I wouldn’t do anything differently,” Edith said.
The Warrens still live in the same tiny Idaho town where they were born. There, we found the Weiser storefront where Norm and his father before him ran their dry cleaning business no longer bears its old marquee. The trains that used to chug to a stop at the old depot now hum right by.
But while the world changed and brought Weiser with it, Edith and Norman say they still see one another as the teenagers they were nearly eight decades ago.
“Never gone with anyone else,” Edith said.
Edith met Norm through her friend, Norm’s sister Mable.
“I knew that I liked him and I made sure I was able to be where he was,” she said.
Her plan worked. They dated in high school and wed after Edith turned 19. A world war, a moon landing and the Internet later, and they’re still married—only now, on a planet where one may exit a relationship with the click of a button.
So, this Valentine’s Day we asked the Warrens and others how to make love last.
Whether you’re eight years old:
“By just smiling at each other and working together as a team,” Nampa Christian School second-grader Brock Mills said.
Eighty years married:
“Find the right fella,” Edith said.
“Find the right woman,” Norman said.
“We’d do it over again,” Edith said.
Or eight months into your first marriage:
“Just give them all your money,” Jeremi Schlader said.
Jeremi and Kiley Schlader married just last May.
“Awful,” Jeremi said.
“It’s wonderful,” Kiley said.
“What?” Jeremi said. “Oh, it’s great.”
After not even a full year as a husband, Jeremi's already identified how he plans to retain that title.
“Just agree with the wife,” Kiley said.
“Just sit still,” Edith said to Norman after we finished our interview. “I don’t think we’re supposed to move.”
The Warrens never drank or smoked. They fished and boated from their cabin in McCall. They drove across Canada and visited every state in the union.
“And Texas is one big state,” Edith said.
Norman flew planes, played tennis and shuffleboard, water-skied through his eighties and rode motorcycles through his nineties.
“Say that you miss driving,” Edith told Norm.
“It’s being kind,” Nampa Christian second-grader Jenisa Mather said about love.
“Being compassionate to others,” Brock said.
Pieces of glass Norman stained before his eyes went hang throughout his home. He survived a bout with pneumonia earlier this winter. As always, Edith remained by his side.
“She’s been my lovely wife all these years,” Norman said.
Weiser turned the high school where the Warrens met into a museum. Television turned their favorite shows into late-night reruns. But as the world outside their home grew smaller, friends died and the distance of the journeys on which Edith and Norman embarked grew shorter, always the one constant remained each other.
Still. After 80 years.
“Be kind to them so they know you like them and they can like you back,” Mather said.
“We’re just so excited for all the adventures that we have together,” Kiley said.
“She’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful person," Norman said. "And we had a lot of fun."
“I’ll say,” Edith said.