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Couple celebrates 73 years of marriage

Harvey and Madge Crain have been married since 1945. Photos were taken at a “Still Sweethearts” Banquet at Limestone Free Will Baptist Church.


Staff Writer

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Seventy-three years ago the Allies were victorious in World War II. 

And 73 years ago, Harvey and Madge Crain were married, beginning a life-long relationship most dream about.

While the couple currently live in Telford, they remember the first time they met in Chuckey.

“I was in the car with my sister. We had come from Greeneville; we worked in Greeneville and we were on our way home,” Mrs. Crain remembered. “We stopped by a service station to get gasoline and he was sitting on the bench.”

Mr. Crain added, “She was 16 years old, riding home with her sister and I was sitting on a bench at the Lucky Bitner store in Chuckey, and she was in the car. I saw her and we just got to talking and a little more than a year later, we got married.”

Mr. and Mrs. Crain were each 17 years old at the time of their marriage. Their courtship would seem unfamiliar to teenagers nowadays.

“Her parents were very conservative and they didn’t allow us to date or go anywhere without another member of the family,” Mr. Crain said.

“At the time of our meeting, they lived about two miles from where I lived and after that, they moved to Johnson City. So our courtship, if you called it that, was by letter or I would pick her up and a member of the family to attend a church service somewhere.”

After the Crains tied the knot, they moved to Johnson City together for a year before packing up and moving to Warren, Michigan, where he worked in an auto factory for 31 years.

They returned home to Tennessee in 1981 where Mr. Crain repaired fire trucks for close to 70 communities from Cumberland County to Sullivan County.

The Crains have one daughter, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

They celebrated their 73rd anniversary on May 17 and attended a “Still Sweethearts” banquet held by the Family Life Center at the Limestone Free Will Baptist Church — captured by a photographer in the kissing booth and proving that after 73 years, their love still shines brightly.