Family, hobbies important for long marriage, say Davises
As Valentine’s Day draws near our thoughts turn to love – who we love, why we love them, and how we can show them we care. However, while diamonds and chocolate are certainly nice, they do not form a strong foundation for a long, healthy, and loving marriage.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Howard and Erlene Davis for insight on how to create a strong marriage. The couple met at a café in Cozad, where Erlene was working. Howard was working a summer job for the county surveyor after getting out of the service, and he would come to the café regularly and flirt with Erlene. They were married at the Evangelical United Brethren Church, which is now the United Methodist Church, in May of 1958. “It was hotter than Hades the day we got married,” laughed Erlene. They will celebrate 58 years of marriage this May.
After getting married, the couple spent their first summer in Lexington and then moved to Kearney while Howard finished going to school at Kearney State Teacher’s College, where he got degrees in Biology and General Science. In 1961 the couple moved to Arapahoe. They were only planning to stay a few years and then move, but things didn’t go according to plan. They have been in Arapahoe most of their married life.
Family is obviously an important part of the Davises lives. Their house is full of pictures of their children and grandchildren, and they are only too happy to have an excuse to brag about their beautiful granddaughters, as any proud grandparent would. “Well, the old saying that if you’d known that having grandkids was so much fun you’d have had them first is definitely true. That’s a for sure deal! We have three beautiful granddaughters,” beamed Erlene, who showed me several pictures.
“Howard has six siblings, and of the seven of them three are still living. He is one of the younger ones. I have two siblings; one who is still living and one is deceased. We have two children: our daughter, Deb, who lives in Kearney, and our son, Shawn. He passed away two years ago. He has three little girls: Amelia is going to graduate high school in May, Olivia is in eighth grade and will be confirmed in May and Elaina is 10 and in fourth grade. So that’s our family,” said Erlene.
Throughout the years both Howard and Erlene have stayed incredibly busy and involved in the community. Howard was a teacher and counselor for 36 years at both Arapahoe and Holbrook Public Schools. He was also the mayor of Arapahoe for 20 years, served on the fire department for 22 years, and was a commercial beekeeper for a few years as well, with 1,100 colonies of bees. “I guess the most honey I ever produced in one year was 120 55-gallon drums of honey, or two semi loads,” he said. They would sell their honey to Sue Bee, who sent out a semi to load up all the honey and whisk it away and prepare it to be sold in stores.
Elementary students enjoy Mad Science Monday
Elizabeth Jeffcoat, Anna tenBensel, Haiden Garey and McKenzie Holliday were building catapults using tongue depressors, spoons and rubber bands. They also learned how catapults are still used in modern day at the Mad Science Monday held at the Arapahoe Public Library.
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