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By Matt Wotus

Donald Hart and his wife, Vivian, were joined by 30 people in Grand Rapids, Michigan, earlier this month to celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary. The milestone made the two 99-year-olds the longest-living couple in the state, according to their family.

RELATED: Nine couples married more than 250 years combined renew their vows together

Donald met his future bride in the 1930s when he was leaving church one day and ran into a group of women from out of town who needed help getting home. Instead of just giving them directions, he decided to walk them to their destination.

“So we ended up walking them way across town,” he told 24 Hour News 8. “We were just going to [walk] a little ways and then quit, but we ended up going all the way.”

After serving in the Air Force and being drafted in World War II, Donald worked for more than 20 years at manufacturer American Seating. Vivian is a chalk artist and avid reader, but is known most for the love she has for her family.

David Heart, the couple’s youngest son, got emotional thinking about how his mom prayed and provided for him and his brothers when they were growing up.

“You’re gonna get me all emotional. I’m sorry,” he said. “My mom is a praying mom.”

Throughout Donald and Vivian’s eight decades of marriage, there have been good and challenging times, but both kinds have helped to grow the love they have for each other.

“When those times happen you get knocked down, but you just get up and go again,” Donald said. “When you get together again, it was better yet than ever. Seems that way.”

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