Babers 70th Anniversary

For most of us, April 1st is a day of fun and humor - a day to play pranks and practical jokes on friends, family and co-workers while trying to avoid them doing the same to us. But for a local couple, the day has long been much more. Since they were married on April 1st, 1948, Raymond and Charlie Mae Babers of Calvert have celebrated the date annually as their anniversary, and this year's will mark their seventieth such celebration. According to the University of Nebraska, Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research, less than 0.01% of all marriages ever make it to a seventieth anniversary, so theirs is a truly noteworthy accomplishment. The two first met at a small, rural elementary school outside the Calvert city limits. Nothing came of this first meeting. It was in the 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression when Raymond left school after the second grade to go work to help his family. Later, he entered the Army and fought for his country in Europe. Meanwhile, young Charlie Mae was continuing her studies, first at the rural school and then at the Calvert Colored School in town. After two years, Raymond returned home from the war in late 1946. Not long after his return, the two met each other again after nearly a dozen years. For him, it was a case of love a second sight. He began to court her, and asked her to marry him. She agreed, and they were married soon afterward, only a month and a half after her eighteenth birthday. It was April Fool's Day, 1948, and the two of them have been together ever since. He turned 93 last December 7th, and she celebrated her 88th birthday on February 18th of this year. During their remarkable seventy years of marriage, they have raised seven children. Oldest daughter, Edith, is 66. Twins Charles (son) and Charlie (daughter) are 57. Sons Raymond Jr, Marvin and Kervin, are 54, 52, and 50, respectively. Their youngest son, Omar, passed away in 2015. The couple always stressed the importance of education, and all seven of their children are high school graduates, and four have earned college degrees. Three sons followed Raymond into the US Army. Four children became teachers. This year, April 1st happens to coincide with the annual Easter celebration. This is a rare event that has happened only once in the last seventy years. Yet as rare as that is, it is not nearly as rare as this wonderful couple having reached this incredible milestone in their relationship. Happy 70th Anniversary, Raymond and Charlie Mae Babers!

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