70 years of marriage brought Zaley and Knaffel Whaley into the pages of the Seymour Herald as the winners of the longest married couple contest. For this honored achievement the Whaleys will get a great night out on the town.
It all started in July 1932 with their marriage certificate. Actually it started when they first met as small children as both their parents were friends. Both Whaleys were born in Sugarlands, a community in the Great Smoky Mountains. The families moved apart and the two did not meet again until at the public swimming area (The Suck Hole) in Wears Valley. Where Mr. Whaley at 21 used to watch the 16-year-old dive in the river. They dated for approximately one and a half years before getting married. Due to the Depression, jobs were hard to come by. Mr. Whaley had $10.00, which he gave to his then future wife for their wedding. She held on to that $10.00 for three months before getting the license. The Whaleys were married by a Justice of the Peace in Wears Valley. The young couple spent their honeymoon at home amongst family.
Seymour residents since 1975, the Whaleys reside in the Historic Boyds Creek community with their dog Luther. They have been members of Oak City Baptist Church for the past twenty years. The Whaleys enjoy working in their gardens, where Mrs. Whaley takes great pride in her flowers and Mr. Whaley in his vegetable garden.
“What made this marriage work so long?” Both the Whaley’s attribute their wonderful marriage to treating each other right, being true to one another, keeping no secrets, never going to bed angry, and most importantly, love. And their happiest memory, “besides 70 years of marriage is our wedding day”, they were both quick to respond.
A special thank you goes to the following contest sponsors for their donation: A floral bouquet Betty’s Florist/ Hair care products for her by Three Sisters Hair Design/ A hair cut for him by Johnson’s Barber Shop/ Limousine transportation by Camelot Limousine/ Dinner for two at Bob’s Mountaineer Restaurant.

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