By Andrea Papagianis
Their stories span a collective 194 years, their lives together 30, their marriage just two—and on their cotton anniversary, Rose Pollard Lunsway and husband, Forrest Lunsway, said their secret to a strong marriage is simple.
“We’ve already made our mistakes,” Rose said.
Two years ago, on March 19, the couple wed after 30 years together.
In a surprise ceremony on Forrest’s 100th birthday, the pair nearly surpassed the aggregate age of the Guinness World Record holders for oldest newlyweds—currently held by French couple—Francois Fernandez and Madeleine Francineau.
Their nuptials sparked a media frenzy with news outlets calling from across the globe, something Vanna Murphy, who runs senior activities at the Dana Point Community Center, attributed to a unique love story.
Rose and Forrest met three decades ago through mutual friends at a Laguna Beach Senior Center holiday dance. He lived in Cypress, she in Capistrano Beach and with 40 miles between them Rose didn’t think it would last. After dancing the night away, and for nearly 20 years more, Forrest and Rose would meet halfway for dates. Sometimes, Forrest would pick Rose up and make the trip back north once the night was over.
After losing her first husband, Rose swore she would never remarry. But when Forrest popped the question she vowed to tie the knot on his 100th birthday. Rose kept her word and with Murphy’s help, the pair wed in a ceremony with family and friends.
Now two years later, in the community center room where they married, 50 people gathered once again to celebrate Forrest’s birthday—and he and Rose’s life together. Wearing a black tuxedo, Forrest rose to the occasion and danced to Sinatra’s Young at Heart with his bride—in the black dress with white stripes from their wedding day.