Maui Couple Honored as Hawai‘i’s Longest Married by Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Marco Molina Jr. and Evelyn Flores Molina of Waiheʻe, Maui, have been selected as Hawaiʻi’s longest married couple in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter 11thannual Longest Married Couple Project. Married for nearly 70 years, the Molinas are also the longest married of all nominations made in WWME’s Region 12 covering Hawaiʻi, Guam, Saipan, Northern and Central California, and Northern Nevada.
The Molinas were married Oct. 20, 1951, at St. Ann’s Church in Waiheʻe, Maui. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. They were selected as the longest married couple in Hawaiʻi based on a nomination process.
Mr. Molina, 96, worked as a cowboy at the Waiheʻe Dairy and later at Wailuku Sugar Co. as a seed bath operator. Mrs. Molina was a housewife, a cannery worker and a cafeteria employee at Kīhei School.
When asked what held them together for seven decades, Mr. Molina said, “We got along.” If they had disagreements, he would go outside in the yard for the couple to cool off. When they would make up, “he would be nice to me,” the 89-year-old Mrs. Molina said.
The Molinas have four children: Duane (Cora) Molina; Donna (Fred) Ventura; Jerome Molina; and Wendell Molina. Hawaiʻi’s longest married couple also has eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Fred and Donna Ventura, who marked their 40th wedding anniversary in August, nominated Donna’s parents in September for the honor of WWME’s longest married in Hawaiʻi. “They have always been on the same playing field,” Donna Ventura said. “They are two people with different backgrounds but they’ve had this togetherness as long as I’ve known them,” Ventura said, adding “United, very united.”
Worldwide Marriage Encounter created the Longest Married Couple project to recognize couples’ commitment to marriage and to show young couples that marriages really can go the distance. WWME is the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in the United States.
The honor of the Longest Married Couple in the United States in 2021 went to Dan and Mary Kruse of Alexandria, Minn. They have been married 82 years and were honored on Oct. 10, 2021.
Nominations for Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s Longest Married Couple project this year were received from 33 states. State winners are being honored throughout the month of October with special certificate presentations (in-person and online, depending on a state’s COVID guidelines). Worldwide Marriage Encounter Hawaiʻi Executive Couple Ed and Betty Coda, who have been married 50-plus years, will lead the Hawaiʻi presentation during the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Molinas’ parish, St. Ann’s Church in Waiheʻe.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busy world to focus on each other. It provides tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage. The marriage encounter experience is also available to priests and religious to enhance their vocations.