Childhood Sweethearts Celebrate 64th Wedding Anniversary After 82 Years of Friendship

Joel and Carolyn LaPray have a love story that is truly unparalleled, leaving a lasting impression on all who hear it. Their unwavering commitment to each other serves as an incredible source of inspiration.

Having been married for an astounding 64 years, this couple’s journey began a remarkable 82 years ago. Even fewer individuals can claim to have known their life partner since birth.

Their paths first crossed in early 1940s Idaho when they were mere toddlers. Living as neighbors and with their parents as close friends, Joel and Carolyn’s connection was established from the earliest stages of their lives. Little did they know that their story would intertwine just before the United States became embroiled in World War II.

The war led to their families relocating, temporarily separating them. However, fate intervened as both families resettled in Utah during their teenage years. It was during their high school sophomore year when Joel, brimming with certainty, asked Carolyn to accompany him to the military ball. Though Carolyn harbored some uncertainty about her feelings at the time, Joel’s conviction that she would become his future wife proved prescient.

As they spent more time together in their senior year, their love flourished, and upon graduating, they embarked on an extraordinary journey, building a life and raising a family together.

Their shared pursuit of education led them to attend Utah State University, and after their first year of college, they took the momentous decision to join in matrimony. Their love story is a tapestry of beauty, and even after 64 years, their devotion to each other remains unyielding.


The fruit of their love has blossomed into a family of six children, 25 grandchildren, and an astonishing 33 great-grandchildren. Their descendants are so numerous that Joel has lost count, but their family now stands at an impressive 70 individuals.

A cherished memento of their early connection is a black-and-white picture of their toddler selves, captured at the time of their first meeting. In a heartwarming gesture, Joel’s mother arranged for it to be transformed into a painted portrait, which served as a wedding gift. This precious reminder of their love story, displayed alongside their wedding cake, bore the caption, “Joel and Carolyn, their first date.” It remains a treasured keepsake, a symbol of love and devotion that eludes many.

When asked about the secret to their remarkable 64-year marriage, Joel promptly responded that compromise holds the key. “We each have different opinions, we compromise, we do it her way,” he shared. Carolyn playfully alluded to the adage “happy wife, happy life.” Joel, recognizing the significance of his wife’s happiness, endeavors to demonstrate his love for her by living up to the standard she sets.


The love story of Joel and Carolyn LaPray is undeniably extraordinary, leaving a profound impact on all who encounter it. Their unwavering commitment to each other serves as an enduring source of inspiration. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to them and eagerly anticipate their continued pursuit of their dreams as they celebrate many more anniversaries to come.

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