02.02.40 + 70

One of the longest marriages in the Wiregrass will be marked on Tuesday, Feb. 2, when Mary Elizabeth Kelley and Walter Gilma Williamson spend their 70th Groundhog Day together, a little more than a mile from where they were wed in 1940.

Members of long-time families of Southeast Alabama, the two met in the mid-1930s while students at Rehobeth High School. At a cane-grinding party in 1936, they decided their feelings for one another were so strong and loving that -- if nothing changed -- they would marry one day.

Four years later, they were married by Dr. Leroy Priest, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dothan. The Williamsons and their three sons (Harry, Paul and Ronald) left Dothan in 1958 to follow Gilma's career with Burlington Industries and lived in several cities in Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida, finally to return to their birthplace in 1983.

Elizabeth, now 89, enjoys cooking in "Bibba's Kitchen," journaling and staying in contact with friends and family. Gilma, 92, enjoys his workshop, yardwork and reading. Both enjoy fellowship within the First Baptist Church Family where they have been affiliated almost their entire adult lives.

Members of their three son's families visited Dothan this weekend to mark the anniversary.


Anonymous said...

Congrats "Bibba" and Gilma! Sounds like one beautiful weekend!


Janice & Jerome said...

love this post. I wanted to visit you all but knew this was a special time just for your Mom and Dad and imed Family. Hope to see you next time your in Dothan.