TROY — Troy Strawberry Festival’s Golden Couple held its first-ever All-Star competition with seven couples returning to the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center to battle it out in “No-So-Newlywed” game-style on Saturday morning.
With a perfect score, Jake and Shirley Heffner, of Troy, showed off how well they’ve know each other during their 57 years of marriage, even if they do compare themselves to TV’s classic couple Archie and Edith Bunker.
“I can’t believe it!” Shirley exclaimed, laughing at their success following the contest.
So what is the Heffner’s secret to marriage spanning more than five decades?
“We each go and do our own thing and then we get together,” Shirley shared.
“I do my thing and she does hers,” echoed Jake.
The couple were married on Sept. 10, 1960 in New Carlisle.
Jake enjoys restoring antique cars and going to car shows while Shirley stays active volunteering at Upper Valley Medical Center, knitting, crocheting and quilting. They are members of various clubs, enjoy collecting cars and raising funds for the Shriner Children’s hospitals and “help others when possible.”
The Heffner’s won the contest back in 2012.
The Heffner’s answered a variety of tongue-and-cheek questions during the “Not-So Newly Wed Game” hosted by Troy Mayor Michael Beamish, along with the community volunteers who helped the couples during the game.
When asked what the biggest surprise their spouse ever sprang on them during their marriage, Jake remembered how he’d bring flowers to his wife on a rare occasion.
“I never really sent her flowers. We’d always go out to eat and things like that, so that was a hard question for me. But the one time I did get her flowers she got a big kick out of it,” he said.
“He doesn’t usually get me flowers, so the one time he got me flowers I couldn’t believe it,” Shirley shared.
Shirley retired from U.S. Bank and Jake retired from the city of Troy and currently works for Concord Township.
Last year’s winners, Carl and Linda Sexauer, from Piqua, were runner’s up.
Ted and Dot Ristoff, of Troy, won the coveted Spirit Award with their family and friends cheering them on throughout the game.
The following is a list of participants in the game:
Homer and Sheila Baldwin, of New Carlisle, were the 2015 Golden Couple. They have been married for 53 years.
Carol and Earl Burley, of Troy, were the 2016 Golden Couple. They have been married for 53 years.
Ralph and Lorraine Craig, of Tipp City, were the 2010 Golden Couple. They have been married for 65 years.
Ted and Dot Ristoff, of Troy, were the 2011 Golden Couple. They have been married for 59 years.
Bill and Connie Miller, of Troy, were the 2013 Golden Couple. They have been married 56 years.
Carl and Linda Sexauer, of Piqua, were the 2017 Golden Couple. They have been married for 57 years.
The event was sponsored by Trojan Florist, Katterhenry Investment Group, Marriott and Fairfield hotels, Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn.