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Whitehaven couple celebrates 65th anniversary differently amid COVID-19 restrictions

Vera and Willie Clark have to celebrate separately, but are proud of their milestone

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Willie and Vera Clark met on a blind date through friends 65 years ago. Willie was "outgoing" and she was "shy," so she said they complimented each other well. 

"It was three girls and three boys and we really hadn’t paired off and I didn’t know which guy was going to be my date," Vera said. "But I got the right one!"

They married each other on July 7, 1955, just before Willie left to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. Vera said they counted the days before they could be together again. 

"We probably didn’t say much just kissy," Vera laughed. "He wrote to me every day, 'my dearest darling.'"

Vera said she was "smitten" the night they met. Willes agreed and said she was "sweet" and fell in love with her quickly.

"Soon after I met her!" Willie laughed. 

A marriage lasting 65 years is a milestone for any couple.

"I told him today can you believe we reached 65?" Vera said. "It’s been up down, but we made it."

This year, with COVID-19 restrictions and Willie being in a rehabilitation center, they celebrated apart at the front door of the center. Vera said the separation was difficult for both of them as this has been the longest time they have spent apart since he served in the military.

"It threw me back and he looked sad," Vera said.

While it wasn't what they expected, it's the memories they hold of each other that make them grateful to be together in the first place.

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