Couple Celebrates 55th Wedding Anniversary At Iredell Nursing Facility

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Nursing officials say Donald and Doris Eades just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary, but never imagined how different their celebration would look this year.

Donald Eades is a resident of Iredell Health System’s Hospital-Based Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), so for their anniversary the couple sat six feet apart at a table decorated in their honor in the facility’s day room to enjoy a meal together, according to a news release.

Donald Eades says he usually takes his wife out for dinner for their anniversary, but due to his circumstances, he is extremely thankful for the staff that went above and beyond to make his stay at SNF as comfortable as possible, including helping the couple celebrate their special day.

“This year is very different” Doris said. “They’re very nice people and go out of their way to do things for other folks – that’s what Donald and me always try to do too. We appreciate anyone who does anything for us.”

Doris Eades says she grew up in Iredell County and went to Celeste Henkel, and Donald Eades was raised in Catawba County, only a few miles down the road from where the couple now lives near Sherrill’s Ford.

The couple met in the fall of 1960 while working together at Troutman Shirt Factory, and the couple says their first date, a double date, was set up be a girlfriend of Donald Eades cousin, and the two continued to date for five more years before getting married, according to a news release.

Donald Eades say they had a double wedding with Doris’s sister and husband on October 9th, 1965 at Beulah Baptist Church on old Mountain Road in Statesville.

“I know the exact moment we said ‘I do’ at 4:16 p.m.,” Donald said.

Doris Eades says their wedding was simple, and she and her sister bought wedding dresses and Donald’s $30 suit from Efird’s Department Store in Statesville.

“It was all we could afford,” Doris said.

The couple honeymooned for two nights in Asheville as Donald Eades had to head home shortly after for work, according to a news release.

The Eades say they celebrated their one year anniversary with the first piece cut from their 3-tiered wedding cake.

The Eades say they had two sons, David and Darin, and while Donald Eades spent over 29 years working for Duke Power, Doris Eades stayed at home with the kids until they were older.

“That worked out really good, for her to be able to stay at home and take care of stuff around the house while I worked,” Donald said.

“He never minded that I wasn’t working,” Doris said, reflecting on others she knew who weren’t fortunate enough to be able to stay home with their children.

Donald Eades says before leaving for work in the morning he would leave his wife with a playful motto when taking care of their children.

“Don’t let them have a stick, don’t them have a rock, don’t them have a rope, he used to say,” Doris said, laughing as she and Donald both recalled times when their sons got into trouble and were injured from a variety of childhood antics. “Our youngest one, he always wanted to try things, knowing he was gonna get hurt, but he didn’t mind trying them!”

Doris and Donald Eades say they are now grandparents of two, Doris is 79 and Donald is turning 81 at the end of the month.

The couple says they have so many fond memories together including spending Doris’s 70th birthday doing a one-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail and fulfilling a life-long dream of traveling out west once their youngest child left for college.

“We took 19 days and finally went. We went all the way out to the Dakotas and Montana, back down through Nevada and New Mexico and Texas,” Doris said. “We bought a new truck that had a camper on the back of it. Some nights we camped in the back of the truck, some nights we stayed in a motel, and we stayed at campgrounds in camper cabins a couple of times.”

The couple says as they reflect back on their marriage they agreed commitment, trust, and respect for one another is how their relationship remained so strong.

“I wouldn’t have gotten married if I didn’t plan to stay married,” Donald said. “I made a very good choice.”

“I’ve never wanted anything different,” Doris said. “If I had to do it over I would do it over the same way.”