A Dawson County couple recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, marking seven decades of marriage and a love that still shines as brightly as the day they married.
G.W. and Beverly Crowe first met at church when they were children. Beverly’s father was the pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, where G.W. and his family were congregants. The two grew up together, dated, married on Jan. 18 of 1951, and have now been married for 70 years.
Beverly Crowe said that she first remembers G.W. being around because he was friends with her brother.
“He and my brother were close friends when they were young, so he was visiting my house a lot with my brother and a lot more after he noticed I was there,” Beverly Crowe said. “I could tell that he was interested a couple of years before I was; with me being nine months older he was a kid to me.”
But the more that G.W. hung around, the more Beverly realized she might be interested in him too. The two started spending more time together, mostly with groups of other children at their church.
“We were kind of dating but he couldn’t drive the car, so we were meeting at church and we just kind of hung out with a crowd of kids for the first couple of years,” Beverly Crowe said. “It was really a great time at the time we were dating; I can’t think of anything that was going on in the world at that time and if it was I was too young to care.”
G.W. Crowe said that their first official date was attending a Billy Graham crusade together.
“The first time we really went off together was to the Billy Graham crusade,” G.W. Crowe said. "And that was our first real date.”
The two soon discovered that they had most likely found their future spouse.
“I was probably about 16 when we realized we probably would marry; back then kids married younger,” Beverly Crowe said. “G.W. was 17 and I was 18 when we got married.”
The Crowes led a busy life with a good balance of fun and work. According to Beverly Crowe, their house was always full of friends and neighbors.
“We didn’t care what age anybody was, if they were 10 years older or 10 years younger — if they wanted to be with us we wanted to be their friends,” Beverly Crowe said. “We had barbecues and we had a swimming pool so there were always people there.”
According to Beverly Crowe, everyone who knew them noticed that the couple did almost everything together, something that was important to forming a strong relationship.
“Most people noticed that we just did everything together basically those first many years,” Beverly Crowe said. “We went dancing together every Friday or Saturday night and sometimes both.”
The Crowes had two children together: a daughter, Dale, and a son, Nathan. Beverly Crowe ran her own hairdressing business out of their home for almost 40 years, and her husband was by her side every step of the way.
"He was a part of my business, he took care of all of the paperwork and I didn’t have to have a bookkeeper,” Beverly Crowe said. “I’m not one to enjoy paperwork.”
According to their daughter, Dale Herndon Lee, everything her parents did they did together.
“They were very much partners at the house and in the business — they’re both hard workers, that’s for sure,” Lee said. “They were always entertaining people, and I can remember them going dancing together.”
The pair even operated a bed and breakfast out of their Stone Mountain home during the 1996 Olympics, opening their home to travelers from all over.
“We did a bed and breakfast for a few years through Atlanta Bed and Breakfast,” Beverly Crowe said. “This was during the Olympics so we met people from all over the world.”
Lee said that her parents taking in people in need of a place to stay was not at all uncommon.
“They always had someone living with them too,” Lee said. “Like right after they moved up here, Mama was answering the phone at the church and a lady pulled up who didn’t know anyone and didn’t have anywhere to go and needed help, so Mama brought her home with her.”
The Crowes moved from Stone Mountain to Florida for eight years, then back to Georgia in the early 2000s. The couple had a contract on a house in Flowery Branch that fell through at the last minute, forcing them to scramble to find somewhere to live. A realtor suggested a house in Dawsonville, and the Crowes made an offer on it the same day they toured the house. According to Beverly Crowe, the decision to move to Dawsonville was a good one.
“We love it up here in Dawsonville; we’re very involved in First Baptist Church and it’s been a good move,” Beverly Crowe said. “And a lot of our friends from Stone Mountain and from Florida have followed us and moved up here too.”
Seventy years after getting married, the couple now has two children, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They are active in their church and still enjoy spending time together and being around their friends in Dawsonville.
According to Beverly Crowe, the most important thing they’ve learned in their relationship is to balance time spent together with time spent separately. While G.W. enjoyed hobbies like golfing and gardening, Beverly liked crafting and sewing. But the two always made sure to prioritize spending time with one another.
“Some of the people thought he should be with me all the time; well I’m an individual and I had interest in my own things,” Beverly Crowe said. “But one of the things that we saw happen in the generation younger than us is that the couples were doing everything separate and they didn’t do anything hardly together; those couples who did that were a generation of divorces.”
Lee said that her parents’ relationship taught her things to take into her own relationships, including how to handle being angry at each other.
“I don’t ever remember seeing them fight growing up,” Lee said. “I remember they always told me don’t go to bed mad at each other.”
G.W. Crowe said that his favorite thing about his wife is how well they understand one another.
“We just seem to have an understanding; we really just have a good understanding about each other,” G.W. Crowe said. “We were just together and we didn’t think about ever being with anyone else.”
Beverly Crowe said that her favorite thing about her husband is how honest he’s always been with her.
“He’s one of the most honest people, always been sincere and honest and caring,” Beverly Crowe said. “He’s not perfect, and I’m not either, but those are great qualities.”