Faith key to couple’s 60 years of marriage

Photo by Brett Dunlap Raymond and Yvonne Cox will celebrate their 60th anniversary on Nov. 24. The couple were married in 1957 at the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Wirt County by the Rev. Varil Winter.

WASHINGTON, W.Va. — A strong faith in God has seen a Washington, W.Va., couple through 60 years of marriage.

Raymond and Yvonne Cox will celebrate their Diamond Anniversary on Nov. 24. The couple were married in 1957 at the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Wirt County by the Rev. Varil Winter.

The couple met as children when Yvonne was 8 years old and Raymond was 9.

“I met him through my stepfather’s family,” Yvonne said. “We lived in Huntington, but my stepfather was from Elizabeth and we would go up to spend time with my step-grandparents.”

Raymond’s family lived on the next farm over.

“We became friends,” Yvonne said. “He had a big family with a lot of sisters and brothers and we all became really good friends.”

Over time, Raymond would send her letters talking about what was happening on the farm and so on.

“The first letter I got from him, I was 10,” Yvonne said. “I was ironing my little baby sister’s dress when I was told I got a letter from him.

“It was my first letter from a boy. I was excited.”

The two would correspond regularly.

Although her parents moved to Wirt County during her senior year in high school, she stayed in Huntington to finish out and then joined them in Wirt County after she graduated.

Once back, the couple began dating, eventually getting engaged and were married in 1957.

“We have been together for 60 years,” Yvonne said.

The couple believes it is their faith that has kept them together and strong over the years.

“For me, it has been my relationship with Christ,” Yvonne said.

“We have always gone to church,” Raymond added.

The couple currently attend Fairlawn Baptist Church.

“Like everyone, we have had a lot of heartbreak and trials, but the Lord always brings you through it,” Yvonne said. “If you are faithful, he will bring you through it.”

They had a child who passed away at a young age and they had a daughter who passed away six months ago.

“It is still very hard, but I know if I trust the Lord, it will get better as we go,” Yvonne said. “She was such a treasure and I know where she is at.

“She was a wonderful Christian and I know I will see her again someday.”

Everyone has challenges they go through.

“I don’t know how some people do it without Christ in their lives,” Yvonne said. “We have a strong church family, strong family and extended family. They have been very supportive through everything we have done.

“You gather strength through God’s people.”

The couple have four other children, two daughters and two sons. They also have nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

They say they are always active and socializing with others.

“Our children say we are never home,” Yvonne said.

Every month they gather with those who remain from Wirt County High School’s Class of 1955 for meals. Raymond gardens and the couple regularly makes apple butter.

“I’m 80 years old,” he said. “(Getting outside and being active) is what keeps me young.”

The couple believes it is their faith and love for one another that has kept them together.

“Keep God in your life and make him first. No matter what you go through, He will see you through it,” Yvonne said. “You have to have love and not give up on each other.

“Just stick together, because there are going to be problems. Stick together, communicate with each other and work together.”

Raymond said Yvonne has been wonderful over the years and has kept everything on track.

“The things she has done and the things she has taken care of,” he said. “She looks after stuff.”

Yvonne said Raymond has been a great husband, father and grandfather.

“The reason I fell in love with him was because he was sweet, kind and had a gentle nature,” she said. “He loved children.

“He has always been that way. He has been the best provider he could be.”

He retired from Borg Warner. She has worked a number of jobs over the years including working at West Central Community Action, the Internal Revenue Service and as a church secretary.

The couple recently had a party at their church with family and friends to commemorate their anniversary.

“I am thankful that we had this many years together,” Yvonne said. “I am thankful God has always been with us.

“We felt His presence and He has guided us along. I am very thankful for that.”

“There are a lot of people who don’t make it to 60 years,” Raymond said. “They don’t live that long. We are very lucky.”

“Yes, we certainly are,” Yvonne responded to him.