Julio Mora and Waldramina Quinteros were born in 1910 and 1915, respectively. The woman’s sister set them up a few years later. Mora was the cousin of the man who married Quinteros’ sister.
When Quinteros’s poetry moved Mora, he started to feel something for her. The couple dated for seven years before they found out that neither of their families wanted them to get married.
They didn’t want to leave each other.
Since the couple couldn’t imagine living apart or spending their lives with someone else, they decided to run away. At the time, the young couple didn’t know that getting married would put them in the Guinness World Records years later.
Mora and Quinteros got married in the Church of El Belen in Quito, Ecuador, on February 7, 1941. This was the start of a new part of their lives. Quinteros recalled:
“At first, it wasn’t easy because our families didn’t get along well.”
A Happy Family
Quinteros says that things between the two families started to get better over time, and that the couple soon got their families to stop being so mean to each other.
Two months after Quinteros got her certificate, something out of the ordinary happened that turned her life upside down.
Mora and Quinteros had babies and worked hard to raise them as the years went by. Quinteros said she and her husband never fought, but they did have some small disagreements.
The Younger Generations Quinteros and her husband were both teachers and stayed in the same city after they retired. They had four children, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
The couple loved getting together with family, but that stopped happening when the pandemic hit. Cecilia, their daughter, says that they were sad that they couldn’t see their younger children and grandchildren because of the lockdown. She said:
“My parents need to talk to their family.”
Trying to break a world record
Even though the pandemic turned many people’s lives upside down, Mora and Quinteros broke a world record. In August 2020, the Guinness Book of World Records gave them certificates for being the oldest married couple still alive.
At the time, their combined age was almost 215 years, compared to 212 years and 52 days for the previous record holders. When they ran away to get married decades ago, they had no idea that this award would come as a surprise from fate. They told us:
“Having a Guinness World Records title is a great honor and source of pride for us because it is the most prestigious award in the world.”
How to Lead a Healthy Life
When Mora and his wife broke the world record, Mora was 110 and his wife was 104. They were both in good health. They were more active and healthy than most couples their age.
Cecilia said that her father liked to watch TV and that her mother liked to read the newspaper every morning. After seeing the world change right in front of their eyes, the couple lived a quiet life after they retired.
They said that learning about COVID-19 scared them, but they made sure to follow the rules that came with it. In 2020, the couple said, “The pandemic is too much for us to deal with.”
The Terrible Moment
Two months after Quinteros got her certificate, something out of the ordinary happened that turned her life upside down. Cecilia found out something she never wanted to know on October 22, 2020.
Thursday night, when she went into her parents’ room, her father was not moving. Mora died while he was sleeping next to the woman he loved. That night was the end of a beautiful trip that the couple had started together.
Mora’s death broke the hearts of his wife and children, but he also gave them many happy memories over the years. We hope that his soul is at peace and that his children and grandchildren will never forget what a great person he was.
Mora’s children, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren will know that he believed in love more than anything else because he married the woman he loved the most and spent the rest of his life with her.
Click here to read about another WWII veteran couple from Virginia who were married for 70 years but died within hours of each other. They had been through ups and downs together, but neither of them knew that they would die around the same time.