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Couple celebrates 72nd wedding anniversary

April 02, 2001

Couple celebrates 72nd wedding anniversary



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

When Leroy and Naomi Smith were married in 1929, it was a small wedding without music at their preacher's home.

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At their 72nd anniversary party Friday, their niece, Ruann George of Boonsboro, played "The Wedding March."

"I thought that would be appropriate," George said.

And what was Naomi Smith's response?

"That it was about time," George said, smiling.

Both Smiths are 90. She turns 91 in April and he in May. Doctors say both are in good health though they have hearing problems, said Kate Smith, their oldest daughter.

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Both sides of the family tend to live long, relatives said. Naomi's brother lived until he was within months of turning 100.

Still, said son George Smith, "You are amazed whenever this longevity happens."

Family stories were told and music performed during Friday's anniversary party at Outlook Pointe at Hagerstown.

The couple moved into the facility in 1999 after living in Beaver Creek for about 60 years, Kate Smith said.

Naomi Smith thanked the crowd of about 60 people - relatives, friends and other residents of the assisted living facility - for attending the party.

Leroy did not address the crowd but the Smiths' pastor, Rachel Black, told them of something he said at the 70th anniversary.

Black congratulated them then on being married for so many years, she said Friday.

"That is what I am supposed to do," she said Leroy replied. "We are supposed to stay together. That is what I believe," he told her at the 70th anniversary. Black is pastor of the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren.

Five generations were present Friday. The couple has six children, 20 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter. Leroy's face lit up each time the youngest ran by during the party

Leroy Smith was a self-employed truck driver for 45 to 50 years who always drove green trucks, daughter Kate Smith said. Naomi was a homemaker.

For 28 years, Leroy Smith drove with life-long friend Luther Morrison, said his son, Johnny Morrison.

"He was honest, hard working and very helpful," Johnny Morrison said of Smith.

Leroy loves classic cars and for about 40 years he had about five of his own.

"He liked the old cars, he liked rebuilding them and driving them," Morrison said. "The Model-T Ford was his pick." Smith had three of that brand. He only gave up his cars when they moved to Outlook Pointe.

Leroy and his wife would drive the classic cars in the Alsatia Mummers' parade.

He also took the cars to church socials and would let people take rides, said Black.

The Smiths have been members of the church for most of their long lives. They always tried to sit at the same place: Third row from the back on the window side, she said.

He also loves gardening, as did Naomi, and they spent much time there caring for it and growing beautiful flowers and vegetables, said relatives. Examples of the flowers sat amongst a table of pictures of the couple and relatives from over the years.

Naomi loves quilting, and only in the last 10 years did she stop quilting patches for the church.

The Smiths are great Outlook Pointe residents, said its activities director, Lisa Wilson, who organized the party.

"They are really sweet," she said. Naomi is always checking on Leroy to make sure he hasn't forgotten his hat or coat, Wilson said.

There was probably no wedding cake at the original wedding, but there have been at anniversaries, Kate Smith said.

At Friday's anniversary, Naomi cut the anniversary cake, with Leroy's help, and fed him the first piece. One more time.

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