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Family tradition

3 generations share same anniversary

POSTED: February 13, 2013 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Three generations of a Dawsonville family were married on Feb. 7. The family hopes the tradition continues for years to come.

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Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a time known for celebrating affairs of the heart.

But for three generations of a Dawsonville family, Feb. 7 is the date they found to be lucky in love.

"It's the number of completion in the Bible," said Lester Bruce, who celebrated his 32nd wedding anniversary with the love of his life, Carolyn, last week on the same day his daughter, Crystal Wofford, and her husband, Josh, celebrated their first.

The day also would have been his parents' 61st wedding anniversary.

"Seven is the perfect number," said his mother, Vivian Bruce, who was 16 when she eloped to marry sweetheart Marvin Bruce in 1952.

"We were both too young. We really fell in love though," she said.

At that time, Feb. 7 wasn't an especially romantic date for the family.

"I was really trying my very best to get married without my mom knowing about it," the family matriarch said. "When I ran away to get married, it wasn't a 16-year-old whim. I fell in love with Marvin and I'm still in love with Marvin."

Marvin Bruce died in 1991.

The passion, devotion and admiration in the parents' relationship were an inspiration to their son.

"I've always idolized my daddy. I've always tried to be like my daddy. Everything my daddy did, I've tried to do," said Lester Bruce.

For months after their first meeting, he started planning their wedding without Carolyn's knowledge.

To honor his parents and the love they had for one another, the wedding was set on their 29th wedding anniversary.

"Feb. 7 has always been a special day. I wanted to commemorate my mom and dad because I loved them so much. That's the reason I chose Feb. 7," Lester Bruce said.

His mother said she couldn't have been more proud to share her anniversary with her son and daughter-in-law.

"I thought it was neat, because they saw how happy we were and how we had gotten along all these years," Vivian Bruce said.

Thirty years later, a third generation carried on the family tradition.

Crystal Wofford said she hopes generations to come do the same.

"There are very few traditions that I know that the family keeps alive, and I thought how cool it would really be to keep this one," she said. "Who knows how long it may go on."

While Feb. 7 has been lucky for the three couples, each said placing their trust in the Lord to guide their lives is the secret to successful marital relationships.

"Jesus has been at the center of our marriage and that holds it together," said Carolyn Bruce, who has never spent a day away from her true love since they married.

Son-in-law Josh Wofford couldn't agree more.

"I was headed home from Bible study one night and I prayed and asked God, ‘Lord is this right between me and Crystal,' and I heard a definitive yes on my heart," he said. "I credit it to putting God first in the relationship, putting the relationship status in his hands and let him be the one to guide it.

"If he puts it together, it's a sealed deal. Nothing else can take that away."

Vivian Bruce said the first kiss sealed the deal with her beloved.

"[Marvin] died 21 years ago, and I haven't dated, I haven't hugged or kissed anyone, except ministry hugs," she said. "I'm still his."


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