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Oprah Names Florida Man ’Husband Of The Year

February 13, 1988

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Gertrude Ferris always knew she had a gem of a mate, but she never dreamed he would be named ″Husband of the Year″ on Oprah Winfrey’s television show.

″We are just floating,″ said Sidney Ferris, 77. ″It was just a tremendous experience. We weren’t nervous, a little bit stunned maybe. The significance of it all hasn’t settled in on us yet.″

The Ferrises, who will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary in April, won the first prize, a trip for two to Hawaii.

Two weeks ago, Winfrey asked wives across America to write and tell her why they thought their spouse deserved the title of ″best husband.″

More than 10,000 letters poured in. From those nominees, 25 finalists were selected, including Ferris.

All 25 men and their wives appeared on Friday’s show in Chicago wearing beauty pageant sashes with their names on them. For the show’s opening, they marched across the stage and sang ″Hello, Oprah″ to the tune of ″Hello, Dolly.″

Each wife read a portion of her letter aloud, and each husband had about 30 seconds to answer the question, ″What do you love about your wife and married life?″

Mrs. Ferris, however, is legally blind, and needed help from her husband.

″He read her letter and it was just heartwarming. He just stole everyone’s heart,″ said Colleen Raleigh, one of the show’s publicists.

The part of the letter Ferris read:

″My angel is 77 years of age, and he does all the heavy housework, the laundry and shopping because of my disability. Since I am partially blind, he inspects my clothes and checks my makeup every day. My neighbors say when they see Sidney, they also see a halo over his head.″

For his part, Ferris called his wife ″my angel.″ And then a beaming Mrs. Ferris hugged and kissed him.

″I wish every young woman could meet a young man who cares about life and love as he does,″ she said.

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