Ralph & Clara Carlson Celebrate 76th Wedding Anniversary (November 2003)

Ralph Carlson, now 101, and Clara Carlson, 97, celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary with a toast, a party and a 4-piece band serenading them with Meredith Willson’s song, “Seventy-Six Trombones.” The anniversary celebration made the front page of the Peninsula Daily News.

Clara, who has been a Foundation member since 1980, attributes the secret of their longevity to “chocolate, champagne and laughter.” She added: “It’s as simple as that.” Friends who gathered at the anniversary party accordingly toasted the couple with champagne, and shared chocolate cake and laughter.

They were married in San Francisco on Aug. 18, 1927. According to a Sept. 4 article in the Daily News, the couple met when Clara was at a nursing school that forbade students to marry. Ralph was working for the American Red Cross. Four months before her graduation, Clara married Ralph anyway. The registrar, nicknamed “Cupid Munson,” promised not to publish the announcement of their marriage, which was kept secret until Clara graduated.

They have three children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grands. Their experiences include traveling 18,000 miles across Europe in a Volkswagen for a year. Felicitations, Clara and Ralph!

Freedom From Religion Foundation