ALBANY, Ore. -- After 80 years of marriage, Ermin Johnston remembers the first night he met his wife, Erma, at a Sunday-school party. Ermin said he knew she was “the one” from their first time they talked.
“I took two girls home afterwards. I took the other one home first, and we went home last,” laughed the 101-year-old Ermin.
They married on Aug. 23, 1933.
"We were married during the depression," said Erma. "My folks couldn't afford a lot of flowers so we had fern, and it was beautiful."
Now fast approaching their 80th wedding anniversary, the Albany couple is the longest-living married couple in Oregon.
"We've made it beautiful ... and I've had an enjoyable life with her," said Ermin.
Both being born in Albany, they consider themselves true natives. Ermin worked in the railroad industry for 40 years.
Ermin and Erma Johnston have 3 children, 9 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren.
When asked what their secret to a successful marriage and family was, Ermin joked, “There's no secret … just keep living!"
“I'd say communicate,” Erma chimed in. “We did, didn't we? And we still do.”
“We still do,” Ermin said.
If he could, Ermin said he would spend another 80 years with the love of his life, adding that most couples nowadays can't even do 80 days together.
"She was a sweetie, and I was a farm boy who didn't know anything," said Ermin.
"Oh yes you did!" answered Erma. "He knew enough to pick me!"
- From the archives: 'It's been a honeymoon': Couple celebrates 78th anniversary