A simple Lynchburg romance: Claude and Dorothy Eady

Claude and Dorothy Eady celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on December 5. They married in 1952 at a minister’s home in Shelbyville. (Photo Credit: Ayla McCants)

When you ask Claude and Dorothy Eady the secret to their 68 year strong marriage, they don’t mince words. Don’t argue. Tell each other like it is and keep it simple.

Met at the Highview School

Born in Moore County in 1924 to Morris and Ella Eady, Claude is one of 11 brothers and sisters (seven girls and four boys) and a twin. A native of Lincoln County, Dorothy was the lone daughter of Willie Matt and Omah Hall, who also had three boys.

The well known Lynchburg couple say they met the way most folks did in Lynchburg in the 1950s … at school.

By the time Dorothy started kindergarten at Highview School at the age of six, 10 year old Claude was already in the second grade. But Dorthy says they really didn’t take much notice of each other until much later.

“Back in those days, things were different than they are now,” Dorothy says. “In those days, we weren’t allowed to get out until we were older. We were about 16 or 17 years old before you had the freedom to go anywhere and even then, you were chaperoned.”

A simple wedding

Looking back on their relationship, they don’t recall any grand romantic gestures or a huge wedding because things just weren’t done that way.

“We didn’t have big weddings back then,” Dorothy says. “Nobody had the money. When you wanted to get married, you just got married … sometimes at a friend’s house and sometimes at the courthouse.”

The two say they married casually at minister’s home in Shelbyville. Claude even jokes that he attended a basketball game that day before getting married the night of December 5, 1952. Afterwards, they moved into a small house in a wooded area near Highway 55 and the Flat Creek Highway before settling in the Cobb Hollow community. In July of 1959, they built the two bedroom brick home on Main Street where they remain today.

Together and separate Lynchburg lives

Claude and Dorothy established a life together but also separately in the Lynchburg community. She would move on to graduate from Tennessee State College in Nashville before beginning a teaching career — first at Highview School and then, after integration, at Lynchburg Elementary School.

Claude enjoyed a career as a Distiller at Jack Daniel’s Distillery. He became a frequent face in both the Postcards from Lynchburg ad campaign and the annual Squire’s Calendar.

Nearly 20 years after they first said, “I do” the couple’s only child, Kevin, came along. He says his life felt a little different growing up because he always understood his parents were older but that their age also came with incredible wisdom.

“I think the way they raised me prepared me for the real world,” he says. “They taught me my work ethic, to respect others, and to support the people you love no matter what. I use those lessons today with my own family and at my job.”

Kevin followed in his mother’s shoes and became an educator. He currently serves as the Principal at Hickman County High School and lives in Columbia with his wife, Danielle. The couple have a 25 year old daughter, Maya, who lives in Spring Hill and coaches volleyball at East Hickman High School.

A simple Valentines Day

The couple say they don’t really have any major plans for Valentine’s Day. Claude will buy Dorothy candy and then probably sneak a piece. February 14 will pass like every other day for them, finding the extraordinary in an ordinary Lynchburg life. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}