Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Wife who shared longest-married couple fame dies

First Published Nov 01 2012 06:36 pm • Last Updated Nov 01 2012 06:36 pm

Las Vegas • Theresa Faiss’ marriage to former state Sen. Wilbur Faiss lasted more than some lifetimes, and earned congratulations from the president. Just months after being recognized as being the longest married couple in America, the matriarch of the Faiss family has died in Las Vegas at the age of 97.

The couple were honored in January by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter as being the longest-married couple for 2012. They were married for 79 years.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Theresa Faiss died Sunday. Private services are planned.

"She was an amazing woman who was adored by her three sons," Linda Faiss, her daughter-in-law, told the newspaper. "Fortunately the family got together a couple of days ago for Dad’s 101st birthday.

Wilbur Faiss, who served in the Senate between 1976 and 1984, is the oldest living former Nevada state legislator.

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama had planned to give the couple a public acknowledgement during a campaign appearance in southern Nevada, but they were unable to attend.

Family members say they met the president during a later visit.

The award is given only once to a couple by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the newspaper said, so three other couples at the time might have had longer marriages.

In an earlier interview, Wilbur Faiss told the Review-Journal that the key to success in politics or in marriage is "compromise."

"Every day I ask her how she feels and, ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’ And say, ‘Honey, I still love you.’?"

story continues below
story continues below

Theresa Watts Faiss was born Sept. 10, 1915, near Centralia, in Clinton County, Ill. Her brother, Clifford, still lives in the area. A sister, Hazel, and a brother, Melvin, preceded her in death.

The Faisses moved to North Las Vegas in 1944. They opened the Truck Haven in the early 1950s and later opened the Truck Harbor near Nellis Air Force Base. The businesses are no longer there.

While Wilbur Faiss worked at the Nevada Test Site, now called the Nevada National Security Site, Theresa Faiss operated the service station and a cafe with the help of their three sons.

In 1996, Theresa Faiss was honored as Clark County’s Pioneer Mother of the Year.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons, lawyer Robert Faiss and retired hotel executives Ron and Don Faiss; six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

The Faisses’ proudest legacy, according to their family, was the Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School. The couple would visit the school annually and talk with students.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.