Knoxville couple celebrates 70th anniversary

5:19 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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On March 26, 1943 Ken and Mickey Raby began a new life together and 70 years later, they're still very much in love.

Over the years, Ken has learned a very valuable lesson on the secret to a happy marriage.

"I do everything my wife wants," said Ken.

The Rabys met as teenagers at a Knoxville park in 1939.

"I was in one group with my church and she was with a group from her church," remembered Ken. "As soon as I saw her I said 'that's the girl I want' and that's when I said 'Honey, I want to have a date with you'."

During their courtship, Ken walked many miles to visit his sweetie.

"I didn't have a car so I'd have to walk over for the date and  afterwards walked home to where I lived and that was a far walk," said Ken. "But I didn't think about the distance because all I had on my mind was her and all she had on her mind was me and we decided that we must get married."

While they were dating, World War II was playing out overseas and eventually the young couple had some serious decisions to make.

"We dated through the rest of high school. He was in one high school and I was in another and he went on to the University of Tennessee," remembered Mickey. "He signed up in the reserve in R.O.T.C. and they told him that if he would sign up that he could finish college before he would be called to active duty,  but the war escalated and they called him to active duty. We had already set our date and we were married on March 26, and on April 7 he was called to active duty."

At the time they wed, Mickey had just turned 19 and Ken was almost 91, Mickey admits her parents were against their marriage at first.

"They thought we were too young but my daddy said 'well, you're going to do it anyway so I'll give you my blessing. They had to sign for us because we weren't old enough."

According to daughter Janie, Ken served as a company commander with the 78th Infantry Division in Belgium and Germany in World War II becoming a Captain and receiving combat awards and medals.

Ken returned home in 1946 and returned to U.T. to earn a business degree before becoming a special agent in charge with the F.B.I. where he stayed for 28 years, he and Mickey raised three daughters, moving several times for his job.

"We have had a wonderful life together," said Ken. "Our biggest joy was our 3 children and all 3 of them are girls. You know you've heard that men like to have boys but I enjoyed girls better than I did boys and they enjoyed me."

The couple credits their success to love and a strong Christian faith.

"We're just happy and blessed to have been together all of these years,"  said Mickey. "The Lord has blessed us. Our marriage has been Christ centered and you know you have to work at being happy you have your ups and your downs but you work at it that's what we've done through the years."

Today, the couple live together as an assisted living facility in West Knoxville, enjoying visiting with their family including their 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren but mostly, they enjoy spending time with each other.

"I say a prayer every evening when I go to bed," said Ken. "In this prayer I'm thankful for the Lord's blessings on my wife and children and He's done it. He's really come through for us."

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