101-year-olds happily married since 1913

Don Harvey and Mary Boyson Wall, both 101 going on 102, are believed to be the oldest living couple married in the Salt Lake Temple.

They are roughly the same age as the Mormon colony of Raymond, Alberta, where they met in 1913. He was a farmer, she was a "school marm.""She and her sister were living next door, and that was fatal for her," quipped Brother Wall in a telephone interview from his home in the Salem, Ore., Fairgrounds Ward.

"I got away with her and we've been happy ever since."

After their courtship, the young couple rode a train south to Salt Lake City where they were married April 2, 1913, near the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the great temple.

The newlyweds had sacrificed considerably to purchase train tickets, and only stayed over one night before they were back on the train for Alberta, back to the farm and the school.

"Temple Square was beautiful, as it always is," said Brother Wall.

A strong gospel tradition has been part of their family for many generations. "My father loved the gospel with all his heart and he taught it to us," said Brother Wall. "He and Mother were married in the Endowment House - I don't think they had the temple ready then. He went on a mission to North Carolina when I was about 6 years old. He returned from his mission in time to baptize me on my birthday."

Brother and Sister Wall carried on that gospel tradition with their six children, all of whom have been married or sealed in a temple. "Some of them are getting along in years," he observed. "One of them is 80."

Their posterity of 36 grandchildren, 134 great-grandchildren, and 36 great-great-grandchildren have served or are serving 57 missions. All of their children have also served missions. One daughter, Marjorie S. Folsom, has served three full-time missions and is a worker in the Portland Oregon Temple.

"They certainly have been patient, loving and kind parents," she said. "They always sacrificed to give us the things they couldn't afford for themselves. We had a happy home. If any of us kids ever got blue or ornery, our father would grab us and swing us around until we were happy and having fun."

She remembers her parents going frequently to the Alberta Temple. "I used to help them iron their temple clothing - it wasn't as wrinkle-free then as it is now. They loved to go to the temple. They passed that heritage down that the dearest, most precious thing of all is the gospel.

"They always taught us honesty and hard work."

Now, as their 102nd birthdays approach, the Walls live quietly in their home, where he tends the yard and helps keep house.

"I don't drive any more," he said. "I had to give that up a year or two ago. I've been a home teacher for many long years - I never missed a family. But they laid me off that, too, here a little while back."

Temple marriage, he said, "is the most wonderful thing in the world. It is very important if you love your wife. I want my wife in the eternities. She is a lovely woman and I love her and she loves me and we are very happy together."

The Salt Lake Temple "is a very beautiful place to go, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to go there, if its handy. If it's not, find one like it."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed