Couple Married 75 Years: Lasting Love Takes Daily Commitment

Feb 14, 2020, 7:29 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2022, 11:59 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – On this Valentine’s Day, we all want to know, what’s the secret to lasting love? It’s something a South Jordan couple may just hold the key to.

Critical to their long-lasting marriage is daily dedication. They say it takes commitment to make love last.

“We’ve always treated each other as sweethearts,” said 96-year-old Wayne Ursenbach.

It’s something he and his wife, 93-year-old Bernice Ursenbach, know well.

“Wherever we walk, wherever we walk together, I’m holding her hand,” he said.

They live at Sagewood at Daybreak, a senior living community.

Bernice remembers the first time she saw Wayne in a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the two were teens.

“Who’s the new priest on the sacrament table?” she remembers. “It was him,” she said.

A year later, they went steady.

“That was the girl I wanted to marry,” Wayne said.

Wayne was drafted into World War II. They married on a furlough and wrote to each other nearly every day.

Therapist Susan Hansen Porter, LCSW, said this kind of meaningful connection, even from afar, is vital.

“Couples that make an effort to elevate their spouse – through their words and actions – are couples that not only have sustainable love, but they’re in love,” said Porter, who is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah.

Keeping that love alive requires assuming your partner has your best interest at heart.

“I think it’s so important that when in doubt, you check it out verbally; you don’t want to make assumptions,” she said. “If you can respond, ‘Hey, I need a little bit more information. Gosh, I’d like to clarify what you meant by that.’ That’s going to take you down a much better path.”

Porter also said it’s important to own your mistakes and apologize.

“‘I’d like to take that back and try it over.’ Do-overs, we encourage that with our kids. I always say I need to encourage that with myself and my own partner,” she said.

The Ursenbachs agreed and said you always have to go back to that original commitment.

“Life changes, the world changes, everything changes,” Wayne said. “But you just have to remember that regardless of the changes, it’s still constant, that you’re going to be together.”

They celebrated a milestone few couples reach: 75 years of marriage, their diamond anniversary.

“But nobody gave us one diamond,” Wayne said.

Of the 178 infantry men in his company that fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, Wayne is one of 44 who survived.

For Bernice, this headline meant her husband was coming home.

“It said, ‘Germany Surrenders.’ That was the end of the war,” she said.

A love that survived war, distance, a large family and decades of change has grown into something they cherish even more today.

“If you’re married, plan to be married forever, and just be faithful to each other,” said Wayne. “Don’t pay attention to all the other garbage.”

Wayne and Bernice had seven children. They also have 33 grandchildren and 69 great grandchildren. Wayne has performed 700 weddings in Latter-day Saint temples.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


(Utah Highway Patrol)...
Eliza Pace

Third-generation Utah Highway Patrol officer sworn in for the first time in history

Kollin Robertson was sworn in as a third-generation Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, the first third-generation trooper in Utah history. 
2 days ago
Follow @
Josh Ellis

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for western Utah; flood watch in effect for SE Utah

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued along the Interstate 15 corridor from Logan to St. George.
7 days ago
Madison Swenson

KSL TV’s Mike Headrick explains why he’s been off air

KSL TV's Mike Headrick explains why he's been off air the last few weeks.
8 days ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday. Pence visited...
Logan Stefanich, & Michael Houck, KSL TV

Mike Pence calls for stricter abortion laws, strengthening military during Utah visit

Former Vice President Mike Pence visited the Beehive State Tuesday to a packed audience at Utah Valley University's Gray R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Fall Forum.
8 days ago
Layton High School as police responded to the stabbing....
Eliza Pace & Alex Cabrero

Layton High School student stabbed; juvenile in custody

A Layton high school student was stabbed Tuesday afternoon, and the school was placed on "lockout" after the suspect fled.
8 days ago
(Karah Brackin/KSL TV)...
Karah Brackin

Group works to build largest blanket fort for Utah boy with leukemia

Community members, companies, and organizations have come together in Lehi Thursday for multiple good causes. The goal is to break a Guinness World Record by building the largest blanket fort in history.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Couple Married 75 Years: Lasting Love Takes Daily Commitment