February 13, 2012 by wcobserver
WASHINGTON COUNTY – Wedding bells aren’t just for young love birds looking to start a family and grow old together. It’s also for those who’ve also had family and have lived a long, active life with many years to go. Often, these later marriages come after individuals have lost their spouse. Eager to continue experiencing the joys of a dedicated relationship, these folks start new lives together when many may consider it time for them to settle down.
About 250,00 people over 50 remarry
each year, according to studies conducted in 1998 and 2004. Here in Washington County, we have many couples who married later in life and certainly seem to be very happy, indeed, many appear to be in a perpetual honeymoon stage.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are two of those happily married couples who found each other later in life.
Wes and Irma Ekles
For Wes and Irma Ekles, the song “Please Mr. Postman” may be a fitting theme for how they met, except these two only needed a mailbox. Wes moved
to West Fork in 1999 and joined the First Baptist Church. Irma, who moved to West Fork from Winslow after her hus- band died played the organ at the church. She knew him from talks he gave at the church about the 2000 computer crisis and he’d seen her playing on Sunday. But that wasn’t where they first met.
“I went to go out and get my paper, about seven o’clock in the morning And I heard a voice behind me say, ‘I didn’t know you lived here,’” said Wes. Irma was living on Centerwood and
was out for her early morning walk.
“I thought it was the strangest thing that neither one of us saw the other person and then there they were,” said Irma. “It was so unusual, I didn’t see him come and and then sud- denly he was right next to me.”
After they chatted for awhile, Irma walked her way back home. Wes’ first thought, he said, was “hmmmmm.” In- side his own house, he pulled out the church directory, which had her picture but not her contact information. After he procured her number from the church, he called her up and she accepted the invita- tion.
“We went to the same church,” said Irma with a chuckle. “I was not just going to go out with someone who calls up and says, ‘let’s go out walking.”
after meeting they were married. “That’s it,” said Wes, “romance at the mailbox.”
The Eckles — Wes is 85, Irma is 80 — said their relationship is what keep them happy and healthy.
“The best thing to keep love going is to do activities together,” said Wes.
As for their late marriage, they couldn’t be happier.
“Well, for one thing, if you’re married, you never get old. Love keeps you young. And we enjoy life,” said Wes, before admitting a secret most men know well. “I was miserable when I was single. She got me off the street.”
Dick and Bonnie Seffes
Bonnie Seffes’ description of the inter- actions she and husband Dick had when they first started dating sounds a lot like the beginning of most young couples’ relationship.
“It’s kinda awkward to begin with,” she said.
But it wasn’t for a lack of real-word experience, it was “just not having dated for a long time.”
The Seffes had known each other for some time. They and their spouses, at the time, often attended and worked at craft shows together. When Dick’s wife died, in fact, Bonnie helped sell some of remaining quilts. That’s when they first got acquainted. After Bonnie’s husband died, their shared interest in craft shows really brought them together.
“Dick was very helpful to help me set
up my crafts one day. And my daughter, she said to me, ‘that is a good man,’” Bonnie said. “And I just thought about that so much, and thought maybe I could date him.”
Shortly thereafter, Bonnie called Dick up and asked him to coffee.
After about six months of dating, Dick and Bonnie — at 64 and 58, respectively — married in 1988.
“We weren’t going to get married right away but he had sold his house and didn’t have no place to go,” said Bonnie with a laugh. “So one day he said ‘let’s go to town.’ So I said, ‘ok, let’s go to town.’ So we went to the court house and got our license married.”
They’ve been happy ever since, keeping busy with running the West Fork Community Center and — as they were doing when the Observer arrived for an interview — listening to the police.
The secret to their second, happy marriage or any marriage for that matter, said Bonnie, is “Give and take. You give a lot and take a lot. And that is with both.”
“We share with each other,” said Dick.