Friday, April 17, 2009

Couples honored for long-lasting marriages

(Springfield News-Sun article, 4/17/09)
Six inducted into MRC’s Marriage Hall of Fame for long-lasting relationships

By Bridgette Outten
Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD — Don’t go to bed angry. Make your spouse feel important. Be secure in your marriage.
    Those pieces of advice were a few words of wisdom from couples who were honored in a reception hosted by the Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley on Thursday, April 16. They also have been inducted into MRC’s Black Marriage Hall of Fame.
    But the advice wasn’t all serious.
    “Smoking, drinking and real good blues,” Ralph Goodwin responded when asked about the secret of his 51-year-old marriage to his wife, Marlene.
    Marlene Goodwin poked her husband affectionately and added, “respect for one another,” to the list.
    The couples honored were the Goodwins, Darryl and Lynn Crockett, William and Hazel Carter, Sonny and Beverly Young, James and Ella Smith, and Clarence and Winifred Miller, who could not attend the reception. The five couples in attendance have more than 200 years of marriage combined.
    It’s the first time the MRC has recognized March 22 as Black Marriage Day because of the need to show “the importance and significance of marriage in the African-American community,” Executive Director Lavern Nissley said.
     At 66 years, the Carters had the longest run of the couples. They said they respect each other and put each other first.
    The Smiths, married for 63 years, said the relationship has to be give and take.
    None of the couples said making a marriage work is easy. “Marriage is work,” Lynn Crockett said. “It doesn’t have to be hard work, but it is work.”
    Though Darryl Crockett claimed that every husband should just say “Yes, dear,” and “You might be right,” he agreed with his wife of 30 years that “marriage is a choice. You have to choose to make it work.”
    And there’s one element that can’t be forgotten. “I love Sonny,” said Beverly Young, speaking of her husband of 31 years. “He’s my best friend.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0374 or

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