PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) – The Graves couple is celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary today at the Lakes of Litchfield; the pair was married September 1, 1945 as the world was waiting for World War II to end. The couple survived a long-distance relationship, including when the husband was serving his duties overseas.
For William "Bill" Graves and Mary "Meb" Brownell, that day is remembered for more than the end of World War II. It is the day they became man and wife, and on Tuesday, they get to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
The Graves are residents at the Lakes at Litchfield and will celebrate their anniversary Tuesday alongside the entire retirement community.
The couple has called their assisted living neighborhood home since 2012, and have decorated with keepsakes of their life together with photos of passports, three children, seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. They say they would not change a thing about their life
Daughter Katherine Clark said she wanted her parents to move into a larger residence when it was available, but the couple likes where they are and being so close to each other.
They started becoming close over 70 years prior in a bowling alley one night. Bill, who was training to be a pilot in Nashville and Meb, who was visiting friends in town, both wound up at the bowling alley, and Bill immediately noticed Meb and her friends. They were lovers at first sight. The pair went on several dates before Meb went back to her home in New York. They kept contact after that time.
The pair defeated the long-distance relationship and got married in St. Louis, MO on September 1, 1945. Two weeks after the wedding, Bill had orders to serve overseas. Meb joined her husband on a train to Salt Lake City and started a honeymoon. Bill then honored his commitment to serve overseas in the Philippines and Japan and Meb went back home with her family for those 9 months.
The pair planted their roots in Burlington NC and started a family. Their favorite memories include camping and road trips with their children. They are also heavily involved with their community.
Bill and Meb moved their future to Pawleys Island after campaigning for the Lakes at Litchfield to be built. They have called Pawleys Island home since the 1980s. The pair fell in love with the beach and closeness to Charleston. When they decided to retire, they moved into a condo in the area.
Meb underwent hip replacement surgery at the end of 2011 and moved into assisted living at The Lakes of Litchfield. In March 2012, Bill quickly followed; during Meg's time in surgery and hospital rehab, Bill lost amounts of weight and joined her at the assisted living home.
The pair is extremely involved at the Lakes and enjoy several activities. The Lakes attended a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game and Bill had the honor of throwing out the first pitch as a veteran.