Local Couples Still Carrying Their Torches

Taft and Evelyn Henry of Winnsboro reminisce about their 62 years of marriage as they look pour over a family album. The two say they treasure time with each other and their family.

The Henrys: Can I Walk You Home?

WINNSBORO – Lifelong Fairfield County residents Taft and Evelyn Henry have been married for 62 years, and they say the secret to a long and happy marriage isn’t anything fancy or elaborate.

“The biggest thing is to be friends,” Evelyn said. “If you’re friends, you’ll go a long way. You’ve got to like each other – that’s very important!” she said, adding with a laugh, “It’d be pretty miserable to stay married for 62 years to somebody you don’t like!”

The Henrys, who raised two children and now have two grandchildren and a 6-year-old great-grandchild, met while they were both students at Fairfield County Training School, as it was known at the time.

“He asked to walk me home,” she recalled fondly. “That’s how we started talking.”

Evelyn graduated in 1947 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from USC, while Taft earned his GED, joined the Army and served in the Korean War. They maintained a long-distance engagement for three years before marrying in 1952 at her parents’ home.

Then they set off to see the world together. They were stationed in Virginia and then Germany before returning to settle in Fairfield County. Evelyn taught at McCrorey Elementary School and eventually retired as the school’s principal for a 30-year education career. Taft retired from Fort Jackson after 22 years of service.

“I won’t say it’s all been a bed of roses!” she said with a laugh. “Everybody gets upset with each other from time to time. But we know how to calm down and talk things out. We have respect for each other – that’s how you work things out.”

She said the family’s years together have been rich in laughter and happiness.

“There are so many fun memories,” she said. “For instance, when the children were small, they would always have a Saturday conference with their daddy out on the porch, to give him the rundown of the week. One week, they could hardly wait to talk to him – they ran out to the porch and excitedly informed him that ‘Mama cursed! Mama cursed!’ So he asked – a little scared, I think! – ‘well, what did she say?’ And the children said – ‘on the drive to school, she called us hellcats!’” Evelyn laughed at the memory. “They had gotten to fussing in the backseat and I called them hellcats. They thought that was some pretty bad cussin’!”

She said the family’s longtime involvement in church life has been a big source of strength.

“Even when we were stationed in Germany,” she said, “we got in there and got involved with the church. I was a moderator of the ladies’ group, and my husband worked with the men. It was wonderful to be a part of the church group, and to have people like that to talk to.”

Evelyn said the couple’s decades together have been filled with love.

“It’s been interesting,” she said with a smile. “It’s been a very good life together.”

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