Local Couples Still Carrying Their Torches

Don and Kat Daniels of Blythewood, married for 64 years, stand next to their restored 1929 Ford Model A truck that they frequently drive around the town and show off in the annual Christmas parade.

Mr. & Mrs. Daniels: See You in Church

BLYTHEWOOD – Kat Smith, a Ridgeway girl, was 19 when a church friend, James Sharpe, introduced her to Don Daniels at a Sunday afternoon football game in a field near Daniels’ father’s store on Lorick Road in Blythewood. She did not know that Daniels had arranged with Sharpe to make the introduction. Now she recalls that it all just sort of conveniently fell into place as Daniels ended up tagging along with Sharpe and Kat to church services that evening.

“And the rest is history,” she said with a smile as she reached over to clutch her husband, Don’s, hand. “We’ve been going to church together ever since.”

After 64 years of wedded bliss, the Daniels credit their deep abiding faith in God and their work with their church for their long, happy years of marriage that has produced two sons, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, most of whom live close by in Blythewood. Their son Alex, a Hollywood stunt man and actor, and his wife, Carolyn, the 1992 Miss America, and their three children live in California.

“But they visit Blythewood quite often,” Kat said. “Carolyn was in town with the children recently to judge the Miss South Carolina contest.”

“We’ve had a good life,” Don, a WWII veteran, said. “We go to church and have always been involved with our children’s and grandchildren’s lives.”

Kat was, for the most part, a stay-at-home mom and looked after grandson Will during his growing up years while his parents, who live next door, were at work. “He was always over here. It has been a blessing living next door to Don and Linda,” Kat recalled.

Kat still works in her flower garden and even has a year-round greenhouse in the back yard. Don tools around town in his 1929 Ford Model A pickup truck from which he and Kat can be seen waving every year during the Blythewood Christmas parade. Until a few years ago, the couple, now in their 80s, used to make yearly visits to see Alex and his family and take in Hollywood where their son regularly introduced them to the rich and famous. While they say it was lots of fun, they were undaunted by the glamour and were always glad to get back home to their quiet rural Blythewood existence, their family, friends and fellow church members.

So what’s their secret for a happy marriage over the course of 64 Valentine Days?

“Well, life is no bed of roses,” Kat offered, looking over at her husband. “And we’ve had our ups and downs. But that’s how life is. I once heard a woman say that she and her husband never had an argument. That woman,” Kat smiled, rolling her eyes, “was probably telling a story. Besides, if you haven’t had some disagreements along the way, then you haven’t had the joy of making up.”

“We have always just stayed in there and served God and let Him direct us,” Kat said. “Our prayer was always that our children and grandchildren would grow up to be in church on Sunday morning, and they are, wherever they are, every one of them,” she said smiling proudly. “We couldn’t ask for more than that.”

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