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Couple from Cumming married on Father’s Day in 1960
Today they celebrate their 56th anniversary
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John and Marjorie Reeves are celebrating more than fatherhood today.

Today marks 56 years of marriage for the Forsyth County couple who was married in Colquitt, Georgia, on Father’s Day in 1960.

“We’ve had a good 56 years — most of it was good, some of it wasn’t as good as we would have liked it, but it always came back,” John Reeves said. “It’s been diversified, we’ve lived quite a few places — so it’s just been good.”

Their story began in 1959, when the couple met for the first time at a gathering of friends. Marjorie Reeves gave John her phone number and, after waiting three weeks to call her, he asked her to be his date for a dance that was happening at a Holiday Inn in Atlanta.

In July of 1959, after only a few months since their first date, the couple climbed to the top of Stone Mountain, where John Reeves proposed.

“We had to climb the mountain before John proposed,” Marjorie Reeves said. “And so it was a hot July day and I was saying, ‘Do we have to go all the way to the top?’ John always says I [complained] all the way up and cried all the way down.”

Beginning with their Father’s Day wedding, celebrations of both fatherhood and marriage have often been intertwined for the Reeveses.

Marjorie Reeves, in particular, has special memories of her father from her wedding day, including the moment before the ceremony when he asked her to take off her high-heels as he walked her down the aisle to ensure that she wouldn’t be taller than he was.

“My daddy, after he made me take those heels off, he was so sweet. He looked at me and said, ‘Honey, you’ve given me the best Father’s Day present you’ve ever given me — John Reeves,’” Marjorie Reeves said. “By the time I got down to the altar, I had mascara everywhere.

The first thing John did when Daddy gave me to him at the altar was wipe my cheeks, and I thought that was the kindest thing.”

After the wedding, the Reeveses soon built a life together and had two children, Robert and Bethe.

Due to the traveling required of John Reeves’s business career, many of their anniversaries and Father’s Days over the years were celebrated apart, with John Reeves alone on the road.

“Being on the road is a lonesome job. Don’t ever let anybody tell you it’s not because it is,” John Reeves said. “We celebrated a lot apart.”

For the last several years, however, the couple has been in retirement and able to enjoy their anniversary together and Father’s Day with their children and three grandchildren. The most important part of their celebrations is that the family is all together.

The couple plans on gathering their children and grandchildren together this weekend. They will spend today with cake, conversation and maybe a visit to Golden Corral – their 7-year-old grandson’s favorite restaurant.

“We’ve always made a big to-do over holidays. Birthdays were always celebrated for about a whole week,” Marjorie Reeves said. “So we’ve always made a big deal and tried to all be together.”

Father’s Day and the anniversary is an important and symbolic day for the Reeveses, being two people experienced in marriage, parenting and grand-parenting,

The wisdom they have gathered over the years is simple – to both, the most crucial advice for people who are married or who will marry is to stay together and accept one another, regardless of how difficult marriage or a spouse can become.

“Just don’t try to change each other because you never will – I can try to change him or he can try to change me, but you basically never change anybody,” Marjorie Reeves said. “You have to come to terms with the hard parts. It’s really bad sometimes, but you have to figure out, ‘Why did I want to marry him anyway?’ and he had to ask that question about me, too.”

For John Reeves, acceptance is just as valuable in fatherhood as in marriage. Along with teaching children to face duties and decisions in life, he said support is a key trait in a good father.

“You’ve got to let them know that you care about them and that you do things and tell them to do things in their best interest,” John Reeves said. “You have to back them up, be on their side and teach them responsibility. You don’t try to plan their life — they’ll do what they want to do with their life, and you have to let them do it. You have to let them know that they could do anything and you would love them.”