Fred and Ernestine Shaver will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary Feb. 8.
The Shavers were married in 1947 in Lenoir City. Fred is a WWII Navy veteran and drove a Higgins boat onto Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion on D-Day.
After the initial battle, he and his crew were stranded on the beach for five days until the mother ship was able to return for them. After the war, he returned to Lenoir City and had a career with the U.S. Post Office. He met Ernestine Williamson at the Emory Five and Dime where she was working and he was a customer. Ernestine retired from Union Carbide.
Both are from large families of 12 and 13 children. Ernestine has a brother, Joe Williamson, and a sister, Jackie McBride, living in Lenoir City. Fred has an older brother, Gene, and three sisters, Virgie Monger of Lenoir City, Frances Perry of North Carolina and Ruby Harrell of Maryville.
They enjoy University of Tennessee sports and had season tickets for both Vols football and Lady Vols basketball games for many years. They also were square dancers and enjoyed traveling with friends.
They are both active longtime members of Calvary Baptist Church. Ernestine still teaches Sunday school and was recently given a plaque for 65 years of faithful teaching.
Their children are Sharry (Chris) Reale of Newport Beach, Calif., and Jan (Bill) Thomas of Lenoir City. Grandchildren are Mindi (Jordan) McNabb of Lenoir City and Mitch Thomas of Knoxville.