Don Harvey Wall and Mary Boyson were married in the Salt Lake Temple the same year that Henry Ford introduced the assembly line in his automobile factory and Civil War veterans attended a program on the 50th anniversary since the battle of Gettysburg. That was back in 1913.
On April 2, the Salem, Ore., couple will celebrate their 79th wedding anniversary, making their temple marriage one of the longest in the Church, if not the longest. They are each 100 years old and will observe their 101st birthdays during the summer."We try to serve the Lord the best we know how and keep the commandments," said Brother Wall, who frequently attends sacrament meetings at the Fairgrounds Ward in Salem, Ore., where he was bishop from 1939-47.
"We're doing fine," he said. "I can't remember all the details. When you get past 100 years old, your memory isn't the same."
He said he works in the yard, hoes the flower beds and takes care of "most everything" in the house. He also cares for his wife, who was confined to a wheelchair a few years ago. She is a former ward Relief Society president and school teacher.
"They are very capable of taking care of themselves," said their daughter, Marjorie W. Folsom, of Tigard, Ore. "They are sweet, wonderful people and they have lived their lives worthy of emulation." She said all six of the Wall children filled full-time missions and are active in the Church. Five of the six served missions with their spouses as well.
The couple is originally from Raymond, Alberta. They met when she began teaching school near his parents' farm. They were married and homesteaded on the Alberta prairie until 1937 when they moved to Salem, Ore. He worked for a sugar beet seed company, and later was involved in real estate and sales.
They are parents of six children, and have 36 grandchildren, 134 great-grandchildren, and 34 great-great-grandchildren. Their descendants have filled 54 missions.
"We still enjoy one another's company," he once commented. "Every night I still have her give me a kiss, and we wish each other a good night's sleep. We are grateful for this time we have together."