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Franklin County Couple Celebrate 70 - abc27 WHTM

Franklin County Couple Celebrate 70

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Fred Gress was an 18 year old newlywed when he sailed off to World War Two. 16 year old Maxine was his pretty young bride who was not going to let a good man get away.

"At the time, that's something that I really wanted," chuckled Maxine, "because I thought, if he went away, he'd never come back to me."

Fred did come back, and, after the war, the Fulton County natives settled into a seven decade union, built on love.

Maxine calls it a happy marriage. Fred agrees. "Well, it's been up and down," he said. "But, yeah, I think it's been a good marriage."

The same year Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, Fred and Maxine moved into a their new house in St. Thomas. It's the place they still call home today. For forty plus years, Fred earned his bread as a pipe fitter and welder. and Maxine made sure that bread lasted.

The couple still live on their own, but are never far from their two children, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and their house guest, Libby.

Both say family and faith helped keep their marriage strong, with humor nearby for the inevitable rough spots.

"The kids call it fighting," said Maxine, talking about occasional disagreements between her and Fred. " But, I said no, we don't fight. We just bicker around with each other."

Fred's humor surfaced while explaining his take on working through the rough times of a marriage.

"I never thought about divorce," he said with a wide grin. "But I thought about murder a couple times!"

Until recent years, Fred enjoyed making and giving away numerous wood working projects, while Maxine continues to supply family and friends with knitted and crocheted items.

"I can't do a lot anymore," said Maxine while showing off the latest sweater/jacket for great-granddaughter, Faith. " So, I feel, if I'm doing this, I'm not exactly wasting time."

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