World War II veteran and bride celebrate 71 years of wedded blis - - The News for South Mississippi

World War II veteran and bride celebrate 71 years of wedded bliss

(Photo courtesy Allison Barber) (Photo courtesy Allison Barber)

The empty lot on the corner of Mint and Morehead Streets isn't much to look at. It's a less than ordinary space to most. But to Jim and Maxie Geer, the spot holds the first page of their extraordinary love story.

"She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was so beautiful," Jim said.

In 1946, Maxie worked at Grimes Dry Cleaning Plant.

"He came in to have his suit pressed," she said. Jim wasted no time asking her out that night.

"She said, 'I already have a date.' And I said, 'no honey, you had a date. You don't have one now,'" Jim recalled.

Two shorts months later the two said "I do."

"I felt like that was the one I was going to marry. That was love at first sight," Maxie said.

This past Wednesday, the life-long Charlotte residents, now 91 and 95, celebrated their anniversary.

"Everybody said, 'well that marriage won't last.' Well, today makes 71 years," Jim said.

But theirs is a love story that was almost never written. Before they met, Jim fought through three invasions and five major battles in World War II under the command of General Patton. 

One night, he says he wondered if he'd make it back to North Carolina.

"I got down on my knees in that foxhole and I told the Lord if he'd get me home, I'd do anything that he told me," he said.

Jim came home and immediately started teaching Sunday school at Woodlawn Baptist Church, a responsibility he held until recently.

So what is the Geer's secret to a happy marriage? Never going to sleep angry.

"That's right. And if I did go to sleep, sometime in the middle of the night I'd wake up and I'd say, 'Maxie, please forgive me. I don't want to be mad at you,' and she'd say, 'OK, you're forgiven,'" Jim said.

The two celebrated their anniversary relaxing at home in their recliners because being side by side is where Jim and Maxie are happiest.

"My love just keeps growing for that women," Jim said.

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