Bainbridge couple celebrates 70 years of marriage this month

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fredrick and Janie Smallwood were married September 20, 1947 in Terrance City, Alabama. Now, 70 years later they are still together and celebrating their 70th anniversary.

Fredrick’s cousin, who lived in Alabama and was a friend of Janie’s, introduced the two. Janie was a student at the University of Alabama, while Fredrick lived in Attapulgus. Fredrick drove up the weekend of the date, and the rest was history.

The two were married at the age of 20 and 22 in Terrance City. Janie describes her dress as a long sleeve, white satin gown with a long train that she later passed on for her children to wear. It was a very hot day, according to Janie, but Fredrick’s family, parents and cousins were all there along with Janie’s. At 5 p.m., two became one in the eyes of all their guests at Terrance City Methodist Church.

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Since that day, the two have enjoyed traveling and spending time with each other. For their 60th anniversary, they went on a boat cruise from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans, Louisiana.

When asked what the key to 70 years of marriage was Janie said putting God, the church and family, such as their daughter Betty Hotchkiss, at the center of their life.

The two now, 90 and 92 are continuing to live out their life at Willow Ridge.