By SUE SIENS
These Wilson County marriages have all surpassed the “Golden Anniversary” of 50 years of wedded bliss. Here they share their thoughts on what it takes to have a lasting and happy relationship.
T.A. and Jean Bryan married 54 years
T.A. and Jean Bryan are residents of Lebanon, where they own TA Bryan Insurance. The Bryans have three sons, six grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
“Pick the right one to begin with, and get your grandmother’s advice. The main thing is being in love. And you have to allow each other some space. You need to give and take, and work together as a team, not one person pulling one way, and the other one pulling in a different direction. The love of our Lord has been very important in our marriage, and a foundation of our lives together.”
–T.A. and Jean Bryan
Tom and Peggy Carrell married 61 years
Tom and Peggy Carrell have been residents of Wilson County for 34 years. Tom was an engineer and retired from the TVA, and
Peggy retired from Toshiba. They have two children, two grandchildren, five greatgrandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
“Respect – always treating each other with respect is very important. Because of Raymond’s work we moved a lot, but we always met nice people and had good friends. We developed close ties through church wherever we lived, and being active in church together made a difference in our marriage. We enjoyed doing things together as a family; camping, traveling, and fun things. But the most important thing is showing each other respect.”
– Tom & Peggy Carrell
Rev. Billy & Marie Craighead married 62 years
The Craigheads live in Lebanon. They served in the ministry for 44 years. Billy served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon for almost six years. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
“Make sure you are in love, and take time to be sure you’ve found the right person. We are always working together. When you have a goal, work toward it. We were both 18 years old when we married. Billy went into the ministry, and into school for seven years. I worked and helped him to reach his goal. It needs to be half and half, but sometimes have to go over and give the other person a little more than half. Marriage requires give and take. We have had a wonderful life together, and over the years we have been able to travel in the U.S. and around the world.”
– Rev. Billy & Marie Craighead
Raymond & Emma Jean Tomlinson married 55 years
Raymond and Emma Jean Tomlinson are life long residents of Wilson County. Raymond spent his career in the construction industry,
and Emma Jean retired from Bellsouth. They have two children and six grandchildren.
“You have to give and take. She gives and he takes,” they laughed and said, “but then it turns around the other way, too. We allow each other to have our own interests and do what we enjoy. Jean plays bridge and hand and foot (card game), and Raymond restores cars. We travel a lot and take vacations together, attend church together, and always spend time with our children and grandchildren.”
– Raymond & Emma Jean Tomlinson