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East Tennessee couple celebrates 70th anniversary

4:33 PM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Fountain City) Rev. Wiley Shelby and Imogene Shelby on Saturday celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with 5 generations of their family together in Knoxville.

Knox County Commissioner Larry Smith spoke at the event and presented the couple with a mayoral declaration in honor of the momentous occasion.

Rev. Wiley told 10News he first met Imogene at a downtown Knoxville ice cream shop where she was working at the time. Wiley would return later and found out she had left with her family to go see a movie.

So, Wiley said he went to the movie too.

He said he sat a few rows behind her and began to throw popcorn at her to get her attention. Although she wouldn't move up to sit by him, he wouldn't let that deter him.

"I went up and sat by her and that's the way it started from there. That's been over 25,700 days ago, a little bit over that. That was the sweetest ice cream i've ever had and it's lasted all these years," Rev. Wiley recalled.

The couple got married in Imogene's parents' living room and spent their one-night honeymoon at Wiley's brother's house off of Middlebrook Pike.

"From then on It's been a pretty good road but it's been kind of hard, I wouldn't say it's been all easy but it's been pretty good," Rev. Wiley said.

In total, five generations of Rev. Wiley and Imogene's family were present on Saturday for the celebration at the Fountain City Lion's Club. Those present included their seven children and two great-great-grandchildren.

Rev. Wiley credited his faith and religion for keeping them together for more than seven decades.



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