Ohioan Who Had World's Longest Marriage Dies

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A man whose 83-year marriage was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest for any living couple has died. Harley Utz was 103.

He and his wife Sylvia, also 103, celebrated their 83rd wedding anniversary last June.

Utz died on Monday at the nursing home where the couple lived in this western Ohio town.

The couple was married June 15, 1918, in a simple ceremony at the Pitsburg home of the bride's parents. They couldn't afford a honeymoon.

After the wedding, they moved Dayton, where they rented half of a duplex for $19.50 a month. They also lived in Rochester, N.Y., and Chicago before returning to the Greenville area during the Depression.

Harley Utz was chief accountant and office manager for Troy Sunshade, and retired in 1965.

Sylvia Utz said last summer that she does not believe in divorce and has preached the importance of marriage to her three children, who all have had long marriages.

A son, Emerson Utz, 73, of Arcanum, began the process of having his parents' marriage recorded with Guinness last year by sending birth and marriage certificates, which had to be verified.

Earlier this year, the couple received a letter from Guinness certifying that they had the longest marriage of a living couple.

Services will be held Friday at a local funeral home. Besides his wife, Harley Utz is survived by sons Emerson and Harley Utz Jr., of Minden, Nev., and daughter Doris Jean Brown, of Phoenix, Ariz.

Greenville is about 30 miles northwest of Dayton.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)