Leonard Wilson Sears was born on February 1, 1915.
Elva Bales Sears came along on May 4, 1918.
Leonard states: “It was strange that it took so long for people to get together in those times. We lived just 6 miles apart but never knew each other for several years. I met Elva on a Sunday night at Fellowship Methodist Church where we still belong and attend when we are able.”
They married in 1937 and started a family in 1939. They have three sons, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
“We love them all!”
Elva and Leonard spent their early married years raising three sons, Jim Andy, Wilson and John David.
As the boys grew older and went off to college, Elva went to work at Palm Beach Clothing Factory to help with the expenses of their education.
Leonard taught school for 32 years and retired in 1976 and has been retired since that time.
“Seldom a week passes that a former student or teacher doesn’t stop to thank me for their experience with me as their teacher, coach or principal. This repays me for all the money I did not make teaching school!” says Leonard.
He taught in both the Pulaski County and Somerset School systems. He also worked in real estate for Ray Godby.
Elva had a special talent with music. She played the piano starting at age 9 years. She played at Fellowship Methodist Church until she was 89 years old!
She was well-known for her piano and organ talents.
Leonard enthusiastically explains, “People from all around Pulaski County and several other counties came to hear her music. She was great; I know this because I was an authority!”
Leonard was a Methodist lay minister for 21 years. He did two things during those years while ministering: helped build churches (one in Laurel County, one in Jamaica and one in Africa) and led 11 men to the Lord.
Leonard would like to dedicate this poem to Elva in celebration of their loving marriage of 74 years.