When Forrest Lunsway asked his sweetheart, Rose Pollard, to marry him nearly 30 years ago, she agreed — but only when he turned 100 years old.
Rose, 90, proved true to her word when she married Forrest last month in Orange County, Calif., on the groom’s 100th birthday.
The wedding makes them the oldest couple to ever marry, with a combined age of nearly two centuries. They are planning to apply for a Guinness World Record — they’re 82 days older than the French couple who currently hold the title.
“Take your time and get to know one another,” Rose told The Daily when asked for relationship advice. “Get to know if you like all the things that person stands for. If they have the same values.”
In this case, those values include a shared passion for ballroom dancing.
The newlyweds rarely miss a dance at the Dana Point Senior Center, where they were married. It’s physical activity that Forrest believes has kept him alive.
Born in Indiana in 1911 and raised in Kansas, Forrest has never held a desk job. He spent his youth trapping animals and selling their pelts. Later, he moved to California and worked as a pipe welder.
He smoked a pack a day for 27 years, and still enjoys a glass of wine at dinner with Rose — although he prefers whiskey and 7-Up if any of his drinking buddies are around.
“My favorite food is fried food,” Forrest added. “Something you can get a chunk of. Cut a bite off a piece of meat, that’s what I like.”
The bride was born in Sacramento in 1920, and struggled as an architect during decades when sexism was rampant in the corporate world.
Mutual friends introduced the couple when they heard Rose was looking for a dance partner, and Forrest moved into her place soon after.
Early in the relationship, they wrote a list of everything they still wanted to do, and have since checked off nearly every item — including walking the entire coast of California and kayaking in Alaska.
Nowadays, it doesn’t much matter where they’re going, or even when they get there. They’re just content to enjoy each other’s company.