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Not many couples celebrate their 70th anniversary.
But Jones and Evelyn Faulkenberry of Elgin, 89, and 86, respectively, have defied the odds. They seemed happy Saturday as they basked in the adulation of friends and three generations of family, who joined them at their daughter Dixie Robert’s home on Old Camden Road to celebrate their seven decades of marriage.
Adults talked and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and children ran through the large front yard. The couple has five children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
They came from a place in time when basic survival was more of a question than it is today. There was the Great Depression and then World War II, which Jones fought in with the U.S. Navy.
“We just learned how to cope with life, and we needed each other,” Evelyn said.
The couple met by chance as teenagers when Jones, a Kershaw native, agreed to drive a friend to a girl’s house in Elgin, which happened to be across the street from where Saturday’s celebration took place.
Evelyn happened to be visiting the girl that Sunday as well, and instead of simply dropping his friend off, Jones decided to stick around for a while after meeting Evelyn.
With that, it was happily ever after.
The two married on April 2, 1938, in a private ceremony at a parsonage in Camden, and honeymooned in Myrtle Beach.
From then on, wherever Jones worked, Evelyn and the growing family followed, whether it was to Savannah, Ga., to help build a bridge, or to Baltimore to work at a shipyard for DuPont Corp.
“I said I’ll make a living if you make it worth living,” Jones said.
And Evelyn did just that. She made sure the home was taken care of and reared three boys and two girls as a stay-at-home mother for all those years.
“I enjoyed everywhere we went. I know a lot of other people were scared to leave (home), but I enjoyed it,” Evelyn said.
The Faulkenberrys eventually settled back in Elgin, and Jones retired from Morrison’s Machinery in Fort Lawn.
Daughter Joan Armstrong remembers an even keel, predictable childhood.
“Daddy would work, Momma would make meals, and we would play out in the country,” she said, adding that they always looked after one another.
“They’re just kind, open-hearted people,” she said. “They are attentive to each other’s needs.”
Like many couples, Jones and Evelyn said they’ve faced some hard financial times, but barring the few, minor disagreements, they saw eye-to-eye on most things during their marriage.
“We agreed a lot and got along,” Evelyn said.
“And she was always right,” Jones said to laughs all around.
Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan at email@example.com or 416-8416