Dewey and Gail Barber Celebrate Over 7 Decades of Love

I am, by nature, a nostalgic person. I love documentaries, history and biographies. Often my mind wanders to a time in my own life when “times were different.”

Believe me when I write that times were in fact different than they are today.

One of my great joys in running a newspaper is having the opportunity to meet and spend time with folks who have lived life much longer than I have. They have the wisdom that only comes through experience and time. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours with Dewey and Gail Barber. What struck me right away was how much I liked them. They were warm, at ease with life and inviting. They were also full of history and love.

Below is an excerpt from a larger story on the Barber’s that will run in an upcoming edition of the newspaper.

They grew up in Tarrant in a different time.

They met in elementary school. She was in 3rd grade and he was in 5th. Her sister invited him to her birthday party. They were in different schools and weren’t really around each other again until Tarrant High School. Dewey Barber was a football player. Gail was a cheerleader. Dewey knew he wanted to spend time with Gail and so, to the dismay of his football coach, he decided to try out for the cheer squad.

It was the first of many wise decisions made by Dewey Barber. He and Mrs. Barber have never parted.

They married just after high school. She was 17 and he was 19. On October 6th, they celebrated 71 years of marriage.

Together for over 7 decades. Those 71 years brought 4 children, 15 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren.

A recent photo of Dewey and Gail Barber. Photo courtesy of Gail Barber.

After we talked for a couple of hours, and I would have been happy to hear stories all day, I asked Mrs. Barber for some photos I requested she bring for the story. What I didn’t expect, was that Mrs. Barber had humbly written a few of her thoughts down for me if I wanted them. Written on 5 pages of a small, yellow legal pad were 2 pages that I will share here in her own words, because any couple that is blessed to find themselves happily married and devoted to each other for 71 years has some wisdom worth sharing.

Our Idea of a Successful Marriage

Success is when you look back over the 70 plus years of your life and think about the love and trust you have for each other, your unwavering faith in God, the birth of your children, the places you have lived and the people you met along the way. Your life long friends you have made, all the beautiful places you have visited and of all the memories that make you smile. That’s success!

Always trust in God and trust in your mate.

Admit when you are wrong.

Always tell each other you love them.

Compliment and thank each other on a job well done!

Well said, Mrs. Barber. It’s the kind of wisdom that comes from experience. Our world can certainly learn from those words today.