Sand Mountain couple honored for 68 years of Marriage!
September 14, 2017 Share

Sand Mountain couple honored for 68 years of Marriage!

PHOTO: Verlon and Mary Ruth Stiefel with their certificates and gifts celebrating 68 years. Mary Ruth is holding a plaque from Governor Kay Ivey. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

FYFFE, Ala. — On December 17th, 1949, Verlon (aged 20) and Mary Ruth (aged 19) Stiefel were wed by a Justice of the Peace in Fort Payne. Almost 68 years later, the two are still together and still call Sand Mountain home.

Recently, Verlon and Mary Ruth were added to the, “2017 Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame” for being married 65 years or more. The awards ceremony was held on August 13, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery. While the two weren’t able to attend the ceremony in Montgomery, they received a commemorative plaque signed by Governor Kay Ivey.

The DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow also recently presented the two with a plaque to celebrate the event.

Mary Ruth was raised in Blount County and graduated from Susan Moore High School in 1948, while Verlon was raised here in DeKalb County. Both Verlon and Mary Ruth’s parents took them to church singings while growing up, and this is where the two would meet.

Verlon and Mary Ruth in their first year of marriage, circa 1950. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Currently Verlon still cuts hair at the Fyffe Barber Shop, just off of Highway 75, which he opened over 40 years ago. He also served as a minister for 60 years; pastoring 13 different churches, “far and near,” said Verlon. The two are currently members at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

The two have four children, seven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. The Stiefel’s children currently live all over the area; from just right down the street in Fyffe all the way to Chattanooga.

When asked what was the biggest thing that’s changed on Sand Mountain since they were married, Mary Ruth explained that everything had changed.

“Transportation and roads were one thing. Highway 75 wasn’t even a blacktop when we married. There was no blacktop roads. We didn’t even have electricity when we first married. We lived in a house with his mother and daddy for the first three months, while Verlon and his brothers cut logs and carried them to a sawmill and brought the lumber back to build us a rough house,” explained Mary Ruth.

(Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“We did not have electricity, no running water, no telephones, we had outdoor bathrooms…. It was not modern like it is today. We grew most of our food. We had chickens, a cow, and a hog, and that’s where we got most of our food,” said Mary Ruth.

“We didn’t buy our first car until 1951,” added Mary Ruth.

The Stiefel’s proudly displayed their awards, gifts from family, and photos in the living room of their house, just a short distance away from Fyffe School on Campbell Street. Among them, was a framed portrait that broke down just what 68 years means: 816 months, 3,548 weeks, 24,837 days, 596,088 hours, 35,765,280 minutes, and 2,145,916,800.

Congratulations Verlon and Mary Ruth Stiefel on 68 years!

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