Lea and I were married February 8, 1964 in the Baptist Church in Louisiana, Missouri, by my Uncle Virgil Vaughn, who had also married my mother and father. It was a pretty simple wedding, attended by our families and a few invited friends, on a Saturday afternoon. Our wedding night was spent at a motel in Bowling Green, Missouri, and the next morning we arose to a fresh snowfall that blanketed the countryside. We drove to my home, an apartment in Boonville, Missouri, which I had just recently rented. It was located on the second floor of a private residence at 1316 Main Street. Our life together started there in those simple furnishings, supported by the meager income I made as news director for the local radio station, KWRT.
Lea made a wonderful home for us. She learned how to cook for two people, instead of for her big family, and we grew up together. She was 18 and I was 19, and we had decided to wait a couple of years to have children, so we could be together and enjoy doing and learning new things. We had great fun on weekend trips, and she became dearer to me with each passing breath.
She taught me patience, real love, compassion, and so many other things that I can never express how very, very much she has meant to me. She left her family to raise me. To mold me into what I eventually became. She, ever so gently, coached, guided, and led me to strive for self-fulfillment, and is responsible for any success I ever achieved.
I loved her with a passion that knew no boundaries. I loved her, heart and soul. And, I thank God that the passion has never diminished, but, rather, has grown even deeper with each passing year. She has given me such a wonderful life long love, that she has been me greatest blessing. She taught me how to be a good father, and earn the love of my dear sons. She taught me how to be a good husband and friend. She taught me how to be a good person, and give back to my community.
She has overlooked my many shortcomings and held me up when I was weak. How can you ever repay someone who has always been there for you, never doubting, questioning, or belittling? I thank God for the wonderful gift of her love, and praise Him for the many blessings He has given me through her.
I will always hold dear the memories of her beautiful face, her supple body with its warm, comforting embraces, and her glowing personality. I am truly convinced that she is an angel, sent to bless my time here on earth.
Thank you, God! Amen