*I found this tribute a few months after my mother passed. It was written for the church’s newsletter, and I learned some special things writing it. At that time, they had been married for over 56 years. Fast forward 10+ years, their marriage wasn’t only made in heaven, but they are now enjoying a more blissful marriage in heaven. On February 25, 2021, 4 days after my mother’s passing (my dad passed in 2013), our parents celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary together again, in the most beautiful and peaceful place—Heaven. Enjoy a little piece of their journey in, A Marriage Made In Heaven . . . . To God Be The Glory!
Evander Norvell and Betty Sue Cherry’s romance started to blossom the summer of 1950 in Windsor, NC. She resided on what was then called the Chiska Swamp, which is now referred to as Republican Road. He lived in the Snakebite Township of the Republican community. Betty Sue was just a tender young teenager at 19 years old, while her debonair beau was becoming a mature young gentleman at the age of 25.
Their fairy tale courtship started after the handsome Norvell spent 2 years in the U.S. Army, 1944-1946, 2 years and two months of military service. Upon returning home, he resumed work on the family farm. He was a 1944 graduate of John B. Bond High School in Lewiston, NC, where he drove a school bus for two years. At that time, the last year of high school was 11th, not 12th grade. Norvell later entered the work force, and was employed by Stubbs Veneer Company, retiring years later from that same location, which had then become Lea Lumber Company, in the late 1980’s.
Now, for the lady who would soon be his ministry and his helpmate, she graduated from W.S. Etheridge High School in 1949. She enrolled at Norfolk State College, and only remained a few weeks because she was homesick, and missed her “Vander.” She went on to work at Hamilton Beach Manufacturing, June Day Sewing Factory, Moore’s Cleaners, and then, Williford Cleaners where she recently retired after over 30 years of service.
The couple dated for 5 years and joined in marriage on February 25, 1955 in the courthouse in Windsor. They enjoyed many years of happiness, and became parents to their first child, Veronica, a bright-eyed, curly-headed daughter, in mid-January, 1960. It wasn’t long after spoiling and loving “Ronica” that their 2nd child, Lisa, was born in early October, 1962. She also entered the world with bright eyes, but had a slick, almost bald head of hair. They adored their girls, as the girls have always adored them. You can still hear echoes from Veronica and Lisa expressing that they have the best parents in the world!!
Betty Sue and Norvell have now been married for over 56 years. The love they had for each other years ago is very evident in that unlike many couples, old and young, they spend most of their time TOGETHER, including shopping in may places outside of Windsor, and also worshipping and fellowshipping at the church they were both reared in, Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church. Their love is simply timeless!! We often recount the days when they were both employed, they had lunch dates downtown Windsor every single day. They have always made an effort to make time for each other and their family.
God has truly blessed them, and their family is grateful to have such wonderful role models in these two very special individuals. Vows are often repeated but are not always heartfelt. One thing for sure, when Betty Sue and Norvell spoke wedding vows in 1955, they were recited with love for each other and faith in God in mind. Our Lord was certainly smiling on them that February day, and continues to smile and shine his loving grace and goodness on their hearts and the very spirit of their souls. And to this, we can all say, To God Be The Glory!
*The feature image is a picture taken during their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2005. They finally got their wedding! Even my dad, in all his shyness, was so excited and extremely happy to share that day, publicly, with family and friends. What a beautiful couple! To God be the glory for their marriage, their love, and their life.
Peace & Blessings,