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Valentines For 70 Years

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Snows ‘still love each other very much’

By Michelle Hollenhead

Even after seven decades, the love story of a long-married Kingston couple is still being written.

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Bob and Mildred Snow will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary March 10, and “still love each other very much,” says their daughter, Kathy Mount.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” said Bob of their union.

“But not really that many downs,” added Mildred. “We never fight – never have.

“We might discuss, but we never fight.”

It is a practice that has served them well. Mount describes an idyllic childhood filled with love and laughter.

“We really grew up in a fairy tale family,” she said of herself, sister Rita (Johnson) and brothers Larry and Jerry. “Daddy lived what he taught, and God was the center of our home. They loved their kids, and Daddy treated Mama right, and Mama treated Daddy right.

“That is really their secret,” she added. “They have lived what they believed.”

Both affirm the Lord’s hand in their lives.

“We have trusted in the Lord and put our faith in [Him],” Bob said, noting that they attend Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church where he has been a member for 75 years.

The Snows live in the same home they have had for most of their marriage. As newlyweds, the couple lived with Bob’s parents until they could have a four-room house completed nearby. When it was first built, it was wired for electricity, but the luxury was not available in that section of Lawnville Road until 1950.

Compared with today’s “necessities,” the Snows had few. The closest telephone was two miles away, the family’s water supply came from a spring in the front yard, and they had an outhouse out back.

But the little house was overflowing in other ways.

“We had everything we needed, and, if Daddy could get it, things we wanted, too,” said their daughter.

Bob worked from a very young age, and says he remembers making 50 cents a day shucking corn, earning money he then gave to his mother to help with expenses.

“I have always worked hard, and believe in ‘the sweat of your brow,’” he said.

Married, he worked in Oak Ridge, and helped build Bull Run steam plant in Anderson County before retiring in 1989 from the TVA plant in Kingston.

He left to help take care of his mother, but also worked around the community to help his friends and neighbors who needed it.

“I always had a heart willing to work for others,” said Bob. “We are both that way.”

Mount says all that hard work made her father, “a pretty tough bird,” as evidenced by his overcoming medical problems during the last several years, most recently two weeks ago when he was in the hospital with double pneumonia, a heart attack and failing kidneys.

Home and resting, Bob seems to be recuperating nicely. Both he and Mildred seem much younger than their actual ages of 90 and 89, respectively.

Mildred worked at the Harriman “five-and-10” store when she met Bob, and worked later in their marriage at Roane Hosiery when Kathy was in school. But she never did learn to drive.

“We didn’t have a car when I was growing up,” she explains. “We walked everywhere we went.”

Mildred was one of 10 surviving children raised by her parents in Harriman. Bob had lived in Knoxville before moving with his family to Lawnville Road as a teenager. He was drafted at the end of World War II, and met Mildred almost immediately after returning from service.

Mildred’s girlfriend, Louise Green Bridges, was a cousin of Bob’s, and introduced them in early November 1946. Mildred recalls the first time she ever laid eyes on Bob “it was underneath a red light” in the middle of Harriman.

They ate lunch – but not together – that first day at Shivers Restaurant.

“He sat at a different booth, and told me later that I had my eye on him,” she said. “But I think it was the other way around!”

Louise offered to “fix them up” about two weeks later, so Mildred, Bob and three other couples went to the movies in Rockwood.

After that, things moved very quickly.

“He asked me for another date, and we started dating,” Mildred said. “In about three weeks, he asked me to marry him.

“I told him I would have to think about it, so a week later, I said I would.”

“When I met her, it was like she was meant for me,” Bob said. “I didn’t want her to get away, and I asked her to marry me.

“I didn’t know much about her, and she didn’t know much about me, but we learned together. She has always been a good wife, and has been a good mother to our children.

“And, she has been a wonderful cook! I have one doctor now especially, trying to get me to lose weight, and I ask him how I can do that when the food is so good?”

The Snows’ daughter, Rita, does a lot of the cooking for her parents these days. Mount says between Rita, their brother, Larry, and many other family members, the couple is able to continue enjoying living together – yet alone.

“We are very blessed that they are able to live by themselves,” she said.

And the Snows feel blessed in return. Their family includes son-in-law Robert Mount, daughters-in-law Gloria and Brenda, nine grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

“We are real proud of our children,” said Bob. “Real proud.”

“We have always had a wonderful and close-knit family,” said Mildred. “We have all stayed together because we all love each other.

“And I love Bob, just as much today, as I did the day I married him.”

She said “the sun was shining – it was the most beautiful day.”

And, it has stayed just that way, ever since.