Danners reflect on 75 years of marriage

Published 9:13 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

Coy and Evelyn Danner were the honored guests Sunday afternoon at Elam Baptist Church.

The church fellowship hall was packed with family and friends who were there to celebrate the couple’s 75th wedding anniversary.

The couple graciously accepted congratulations, posed for photographs and shared “remember whens” with their guests. All the while they held hands and, once or twice, he gave her a peck on the cheek.

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“Ah, Coy!” someone said. Danner appeared to smile.

“It’s been good years,” Danner said. “A few hard times, but good years.”

The Danners’ love story began much like that of many young couples during the “early years.”

They met at a revival service at Evergreen Baptist Church in Barbour County.

Danner said he sat on the pew behind this young girl that kept batting her eyes at him.

When the service was over, he had his hand on the back of her pew and “somehow” their hands touched. And that was the beginning of a love story that has lasted 75 years and counting.

Evelyn was around 15 years old and he was a couple of years older – old enough to serve his country during a world war.

Danner joined the U.S. Navy in March 1943 and served on the USS Ticonderoga, an aircraft carrier. His service ended on January 17, 1945 and he came home intent on marrying that girl with the batting eyes.

While he was away, Evelyn had worked at a five and dime and dollar store in Columbus, where her sister lived.

The Red Cross provided enough money for Evelyn to board the passenger train in Tennille and ride to New Orleans to meet Coy. They came back home to Barbour County with every intention of getting married. But Coy said they could not get a marriage license in Barbour County because he had not yet turned 21.

“I was old enough to go to war but I was not old enough to get married,” he said. However, looking back over 75 years, perhaps it was Evelyn’s age, not his, that prevented them for getting the marriage license in Barbour County. But loved paved the way to Ariton in Dale County, and there the couple got a marriage license and said their I do’s and began a life together on February 22, 1945.

Coy did what he loved doing –working the land. He farmed with his granddad who also taught him to lay bricks and blocks. He was a good brick mason and did work all around Barbour and surrounding counties. He also worked as a rural mail carrier. Evelyn worked at the Van Heusen Shirt Factory in Clio and later at the Phillips Van Heusen shirt factory in Ozark. She also worked at the Riegel Glove Factory in Brundidge.

The Danners have one daughter, Carol Danner Barr, a grandson Keith Barr and granddaughter Denise Adams and a lot of grandchildren to love, the couple said.

Carol Barr expressed appreciation, on behalf of  Coy and Evelyn and their entire family, for making the couple’s 75th wedding anniversary such a happy and memorable occasion.