John and Catherine Smith celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary June 26. â€œSmittyâ€ and Catherine met in Statesville when both were employed by Southern Bell Telephone Company. Shortly after their marriage, the United States Army shipped Smitty to North Africa for three years of service in World War II. On his return, he met his 3-year-old son for the first time. They went on to have three more children and six grandsons. John returned to the telephone company after the war and after raising four children, Catherine became a Head Start teacher. They arrived in Denver via Lincolnton and Salisbury. In the â€™60s they leased a lot on Lake Norman soon after the lake was filled. They have been active members in Unity Presbyterian Church for more than 27 years.
Winfred Lester Willis and Margaret Cochrane Willis celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary today, June 27. They were married on June 27, 1942 in Gaffney, S.C. Shortly after their wedding, Winfred was deployed to the Pacific fleet to serve in the United States Navy for almost three years before returning home at the end of the war. He started Willis Plumbing Co. in Lincolnton where he worked for 43 years until retirement in 1989. Margaretâ€™s grandfather started Cochrane Furniture where she served on the board of directors for many years. After living in Florida for 16 years, they now reside on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford. The couple have three children: Margaret Ann Hyder and husband John who live in Lincolnton; Vickie Carpenter and husband Kenneth who live in Stone Mountain, Ga. and Tommy Willis and wife Amy who live in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. They also have four grandchildren: Chip and Courtney Carpenter and Andy and Ashley Willis.