Back in 1946 – 65 years ago – a gallon of gas cost 15 cents, the United States had just 141 million residents and current Millville residents Jackie and Noble Simpson tied the knot in Washington, D.C. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the pair, ages 85 and 84, respectively, held an open house at their home to celebrate their marriage milestone with friends and family.
Pictures of their travels decorated the rooms of their home, which was also decorated with blue and white on nearly every surface. Patti Stolba, owner of City Florists in Ocean City, Md., created a special tiered flower cake in the couple’s colors of choice: blue and white. There was also an entire table filled with cupcakes spelling out “65,” along with a miniature wedding cake adorned with pictures of the couple.
There was a short program that included the Rev. Al Taylor, the senior pastor of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, where the Simpsons worship, and a rendition of the classic wedding song “Because” by Ruth Davis, the former organist at Mariner’s Bethel, as well as a champagne toast delivered by several relatives.
Present at the celebration were friends, church members, relatives and members of the Lions Club, an organization Noble Simpson has been active in for many years. Particularly noteworthy guests were two members of the Simpsons’ wedding party, a flower girl who was 4 years old at the time and then-14-year-old bridesmaid. Noble said he estimated that, of the 200 people present at the wedding, only 13 are still alive today.
To put the passage of time in even greater perspective, Jackie said she spent just $30 on her wedding dress for their July 27, 1946, nuptials.
What is the Simpsons’ secret to marital success? According to cards handed out at the open house: prayer, compromise and sharing are three important components that drive their relationship.
“He’s been a good provider,” said Jackie Simpson of her husband.
He shook his head and replied, “I just couldn’t do without her.”
One of the couple’s children, 63-year-old Glenn Simpson of Washington, D.C., called the moment “blessed” and remarked that he felt extremely lucky to have parents who had been together so long and still were able to do things such as throw themselves an anniversary celebration in their own home, which they’ve lived in for 32 years.
“We’re very fortunate,” he said.