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A Love Story


They were 19 and in love and wanted to marry.  Doris planned to tell her dad while she cut his hair, but the scissors slipped and nipped his ear.  It bled.  She couldn’t say, “Hugh and I are getting married!” while her father wiped blood off his neck.

The year was 1943.  A time when couples were often married by an elected official.  A few days later, Doris told her father and mother about her wedding plans.  They gave their blessings, and her sister made her a new dress.

Doris and Hugh had known each other all their lives and started dating during their last year of high school.  She worked in a local restaurant and Hugh stopped by every day to see her.  After high school graduation, she rode the bus to Nashville with a cousin to be trained for a factory job.  A job left vacant by men who were fighting a war.  After three days of training, Doris said, “I’m going home.  I want to be where Hugh is.”

They dated for fifteen months and on March 13, 1943, Doris and Hugh travelled from their homes in Byrdstown, Tennessee, to Rossville, Georgia where Judge A. L. Ellis performed their wedding ceremony in his office.  Doris and Hugh lived with his parents for six weeks – long enough for him to learn that he was denied enlistment in the Armed Forces because he had a perforated eardrum.

Hugh found work in Akron, Ohio, at the Goodyear Rubber Plant and lived with an uncle until he found housing for himself and his bride.  As she rode the bus from Tennessee to Ohio she imagined their new home.  A white cottage with a white picket fence.   Hugh took her, by city bus, to their first home – a one bedroom, small upstairs apartment.  It didn’t matter.  Doris was happy to keep house and cook for her husband.

For the next seventy years, Aunt Doris kept house and cooked for Uncle Hugh.  They lived in Ohio for sixteen years and then bought a farm back home, in Tennessee, where they moved with their only child, a son, fifteen years old.  Hugh became a dairy farmer, and she worked in retail businesses.  And she was well known for her chocolate pies and dried apple fried pies.

Along the way, family and friends and laughter filled their home.  They hosted hamburger cookouts, card parties, Christmas dinners, spaghetti suppers, church meetings.  Their family grew.  Two grandsons, three great-grandchildren.  All loved to visit their Pa and Granny’s house – a home filled with acceptance and love and hugs.

When they reached retirement age, life barely slowed down.  He hit the golf course and neither missed a trip.  Together they followed their favorite sports teams and politicians.  And they kissed good-bye when either left the house – even for a few hours.

Last month, Aunt Doris and Uncle Hugh were honored at a anniversary reception.  Two weeks later, Uncle Hugh slid onto the floor and his heart stopped.  Two weeks after that, Aunt Doris suffered a major stroke and passed away.  Both at home.  Both living their normal daily lives just hours before.

One of their grandsons wrote the following:  If you are going to write the Great American Love Story from beginning to end, this is how it ends.  A celebration of their 70th wedding anniversary with most of their dear friends, Pa heads out to get the permanent house ready, and then Granny comes home.

They were 89 and in love.




One Response

  1. I love the story. I miss them both. They were often guests at our family birthday celebrations—great love story. Phyllis Richardson


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