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Prayers and goodnight kisses keep Esther and Chester's marriage strong for 77 years

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13 2014 7:10 p.m. MST

Asked why they married in Salt Lake City, Esther explained that "there wasn't much excitement in Scipio. I had two of my sisters up here."

Once they were married, Esther dropped out of high school. But she eventually went back, earning her high school diploma at age 60.

"All my family got the same diploma from the same high school," she said proudly.

The Memmotts raised six children — three boys and three girls — on their farm. When Chester was away driving truck or working construction jobs, Esther tended to the farm and cared for their children. She also baked eight loaves of bread a day to feed their growing brood.

When Chester would come home from a job, "I'd have dinner all ready and his bath water ready. Of course back then we heated our bath water in an old tin tub. And I'd have that ready and the cows milked."

Whatever the challenge, they faced it together, whether it was riding out tough economic times on the farm or the death of their son Raymond in 2000. The Memmotts have also served two missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Again, Esther explains, marriage is about compromise and hanging together no matter what life brings.

Asked why the divorce rate for first marriages has topped 40 percent in the United States, Esther said some young people "don't want to work it out. It's easier to say 'Goodbye.'"

Chester added, "There's lots more distractions for the youth today. They can go off and leave a woman and not think anything about it."

As for Chester and Esther, they face whatever each day brings together. On Valentine's Day, they plan to hold hands and enjoy another day together.

"Yes, we still hold hands," Chester said, smiling at his wife.

"It makes you feel a little closer," Esther said.

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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