BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
On Wednesday, Feb. 12 Charlie and Mary Frances Jones celebrated their 65th anniversary.
The couple have lived almost their entire lives in Greenville where they reared their two children, Claude and Frances Nox.
Charlie was born in 1926 and Mary Frances in 1933. They actually grew up living next door to one another and attended the First Methodist Church in Greenville, but because of age difference didn’t become really acquainted until the 1950’s.
After Charlie graduated from Greenville High School he entered into the U.S. Army Air CORPS as an enlisted reserve in 1943.
He attended basic camp in Biloxi, Miss. and was then stationed in Las Vegas, Nev.
After President Harry S. Truman authorized the utilization of atom bombs to end the war with Japan, Charlie accepted a discharge in October of 1945.
Charlie then went to college at Auburn, which was then Auburn Polytechnic Institute, and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Administration.
Thereafter he worked in Mobile for a marine supply company before moving back to Greenville to manage Riley Lumber and Supply Company for his uncle Fred Riley.
He decided to start his own plumbing business in downtown Greenville shortly afterwards.
Mary Frances graduated from Greenville High School in 1952 and began attending Troy State University.
It was on a weekend trip home from Troy that Charlie noticed Mary Frances walking into the back of her father’s business, City Appliance, in downtown Greenville.
He later found that she was attending Troy University, which was then Troy State University, and one day called to offer her a ride to Troy from Greenville.
Charlie drove Mary Frances to Troy and they had dinner and watched a movie. They started dating while Mary Frances attended Troy for two quarters and then she came back to Greenville and started a bookkeeping career.
On Feb. 12, 1955, they were married. Charlie managed a Sherman Williams Paint store while Mary Frances kept books at different times for the City of Greenville, Regal, Greenville Housing and Georgiana Housing Authority.
In 1967, Charlie began working with New York Life Insurance and is still working today, after 52 years.
Mary Frances continued her bookkeeping career, working with Planters, Sterling Oil, Fort Dale Academy, Aranov Realty, and finally First National Bank of Greenville.
She started as a bookkeeper and eventually became Senior Vice President Comptroller and Cashier at First National Bank before retiring in 1998.
Both Mary France and Charlie were charter members and instrumental in the founding of Woodland Heights Methodist Church and Fort Dale Academy.
Charlie said, “One of the reasons I married Mary Frances is that she was smarter than me,” which elicited a gracious laugh from Mary Frances.
They both said the reason for their long marriage was that they are best friends. “You have to be tolerant and be willing to give and forgive,” said Mary Frances.
They have five grandchildren, and are expecting a great grandchild soon.