By Michal Ortner
Duranord and Jeanne Veillard are celebrating 82 years of marriage at ages 108 and 105. The couple married in November of 1932 and went on to raise 5 children. They are currently Rockland County’s oldest couple and are celebrating their birthdays this spring. Duranord will turn 108 on Saturday and Jeanne will turn 105 in May.
Duranord, who was born in 1907, grew up in southern Haiti as a fisherman’s son. He studied law in Port-au-Prince. In 1968, he lost his job and decided to move to America with his lifelong partner, where he would work at Good Samaritan Hospital as a lab technician for 10 years.
The Veillards’ children came to America one by one after their parents’ immigration. Currently, the couple of 82 years is living with their daughter, Marie Eveillard.
“He remembers everything,” said Duranord’s son, Vely Veillard, 62. “Look at him! He don’t want to use a cane. He’s a superstar.”
Jeanne has a quieter persona compared to her husband, who likes to telling jokes and singing songs in French Creole. But she still has the same witty sense of humor and says that she and her husband met when she “found him in the street.” This anecdote always brings laughter from friends and family.
With 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, they are believed to be Rockland County’s oldest couple to date. The county does not keep public records of couples and the length of their marriages.
Duranord, when asked about his secret to longevity of life, responded with, “That’s God,” in French Creole.
A typical day for Duranord is getting up at around 5 a.m. and doing 5 to 7 push-ups. He has a cup of tea, fresh fruit, and oatmeal for breakfast. He enjoys fish and fresh fruit for his other meals. He also takes naps throughout the day.
At this point, Duranord and Jeanne remain at home, except for the occasional wellness visit to their doctor. They are also careful when moving around their home and always have some type of assistance. They are looking forward to more time with each other and with family.
“Thank you very much,” Veillard said in response to those who wished them well on their birthdays. “Merci beaucoup.”
Financial Lovemaking lessons from this story:
1) Building family is an important part of building wealth. Having healthy, well-adjusted children can be critical when it comes to having people willing to provide for you during old age. That is an important part of your retirement plan.
2) Starting a marriage with another person is a lot like starting a business. You want to make sure you choose a persistent, thoughtful partner who is going to be consistent about prioritizing the goals of your family. Most people want what this couple has, but don’t have a clue on what kind of discipline it takes in order to achieve it.