Marilyn and husband Ed Seagraves celebrated 50 years of marriage this June. They welcomed friends and family to anniversary parties thrown in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Illinois, choosing to share in the joy and say thank you to the people who have been the best parts of their life together.
When Ed and Marilyn were married in 1973, they were two college kids living in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The young couple had next to no money and took advantage of a free timeshare in the Ozarks to be able to go on a honeymoon. They studied hard and worked hard, with Ed holding multiple part time jobs, including an apartment maintenance role that meant the couple was able to move into a rent-free apartment near campus. One of the best perks of that job was being able to shut down the complex pool and getting free private swims each night in the summer. For a special treat, they would splurge on a $3 steak meal at local restaurant Latigos. Marilyn was an immediate good influence on Ed, and his grades became nearly perfect after their marriage.
Jobs took Marilyn and Ed away from their beloved Oklahoma, and after the pursuit of work that took them through three other states, they eventually settled in Lombard, Illinois, where Ed worked with the fire department and retired as chief. Marilyn began her career as a teacher but discovered financial planning while living in Kansas, though Ed wasn’t quite sold on the idea when he learned that she wouldn’t be making a salary. Fortunately, Marilyn’s career move turned out to be a great decision for the couple as well as their sons John, Jim, and Thom.
Fifty years is a long time, but it’s also flown by in a whirlwind and has included challenges, but so many blessings and happy memories. As Ed and Marilyn will admit, they are not the same people they were when they each married that college kid in 1973. What hasn’t changed is their shared commitment and dedication to making each other their top priority. Even during times when they didn’t see eye to eye, they were determined to not be disagreeable, believing in the adage that if you agree on everything, one of you isn’t necessary.
Both Ed and Marilyn also say that the things that made them fall in love with the other haven’t changed. For Marilyn, that’s Ed’s hard-working, dedicated, generous and loving spirit and shared family values, but what sealed the deal for her was that Ed has always been able to make her laugh. Ed, who won a bet with his college friends when he was able to first get a date with Marilyn, was blown away by her beauty and by their long talks. He still loves her beauty and their daily long talks, and after 50 years he has finally gotten over the fact that she does not like Sci-Fi movies, because “no one is perfect”.
Cheers to this golden couple, and to many more happy years together!