Hobson Jr. and Marie Ward pose for a photo while sitting in the swing on their patio.  | Clif Knight
Hobson Jr. and Marie Ward pose for a photo while sitting in the swing on their patio. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Marriage made to last

Published 11:42am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Many married couples never make it to 50 years and even fewer reach their 60th anniversary. A Hartselle couple has done better than that.

Hobson Jr. and Marie Ward observed their 71st anniversary Fri., Aug. 23, in the comfort of their tree-shaded home at 1702 Peach Orchard Road.

He, 88, and she, 87, tied the knot in a simple ceremony at Somerville and never looked back.

“I give my mother and father credit for teaching me to do the right thing,” Mrs. Ward said. “I felt like marriage was ‘until death do us part’ and still do.”

“Our Christian faith has had a steadying influence in our lives,” she added.

“We had no way of knowing when we got married that we’d be together 71 years later,” Ward said. “But we’ve tried to live a clean life, gotten along well together and never had any problems we couldn’t work out.”

Ward didn’t waste any time getting away from the farm on which he was born and raised in the Gum Springs community, east of Hartselle.

“I lied about my age when I was 16 to get a job with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).” Ward said. “They assigned me to a camp in Talladega and put me to work setting out pine seedlings in the Talladega National Forest. I was making $30 a month,but it was a lot better than the 50 cents a day I was making doing farm work when I joined.”

That dream job ended the day after the Japanese Navy bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

“The boss called us together and told us we were discharged,” Ward recalled. “Some of us wound up in the military. I was classified 4-F because of a hernia and landed a job at Ingall’s Shipyard in Decatur”.

Ward was employed with Worthington in Decatur for 15 years and worked as a fire fighter for the City of Hartselle for 11 years, retiring in 1986.

Mrs. Ward was employed as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Hartselle Hospital and Hartselle Medical Center for 25 years. She retired in 1986.

Both have fond memories of spending time together on Smith Lake where they owned a cabin for 33 years. One of their hobbies was fishing and Mrs. Ward has evidence to support her success. She caught a trophy-size crappie and had it mounted on a plaque for safekeeping.

“I knew it was a big one when I hooked it,” she said. “I called Hobson for help when I was having trouble getting it in and told him he’d better not let it get loose,” she recalled with a laugh.

“Memories of their good times on the lake have been preserved at the home they have occupied since 1963. The rocks in the face of a fireplace in their den were collected from the shoreline of the lake and layed by themselves. Their patio is also floored with rocks that came from the same place.

“We never liked to travel a lot,” Mrs. Ward said, “but we enjoy spending time with the family as often as possible. We had everybody here last Christmas for a family get-together.”

The couple hesitated about offering a recipe for a happy marriage but agreed that two of the ingredients should be having respect for each other and being willing to say, “I’m sorry.”

The Wards have a son, Randall, a license inspector with the State of Alabama;a daughter, Janice Rollins; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

 

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