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Tryon Estates couple celebrates milestones

Ernest and Mary Floyd, Tryon Estates residents, are celebrating their 75th anniversary on Valentine’s Day this year. Ernest is also turning 100 on Jan. 18, and Mary will be turning 94 on Feb. 10. Family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon to congratulate the couple and celebrate their birthdays. (Photo by Michael O’Hearn)

Ernest and Mary Floyd, Tryon Estates residents, are celebrating their 75th anniversary on Valentine’s Day this year. Ernest is also turning 100 on Jan. 18, and Mary will be turning 94 on Feb. 10. Family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon to congratulate the couple and celebrate their birthdays. (Photo by Michael O’Hearn)

COLUMBUS – Tryon Estates couple Ernest and Mary Floyd had a reason to celebrate with their family and friends on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Family in attendance at the party at Tryon Estates on Saturday created a scrapbook of photos and chalk canvases detailing the year in review, from sports to major events, for the years Ernest and Mary were born.

The couple, married on Valentine’s Day in 1942, is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. In addition, Ernest will be turning 100 this month on Jan. 18. Mary will be turning 94 on Feb. 10.

Mary and Ernest met in Baltimore on what Mary said was a blind date set up by her friend and husband. Mary said she thought about going on the date for a few days before asking her friend and husband to go on a double date with them.

“Ernest came up from Birmingham to Baltimore to work at an airplane making plant,” Mary explained. “We went to the amusement park on our first date. We never dreamed we would live this long and make it to 75 years.”

Ernest said the Glenn L. Martin Company made B-26 Marauder bombers during WWII. Mary and Ernest moved into Tryon Estates in 1999 after living in Maryville, Tenn. The couple said they lived in Baltimore until 1945 after the end of WWII.

Kay Steele, resident at Tryon Estates, said a 75th anniversary is uncommon and added “you don’t see it every day.” Other residents said the same as they embraced Mary and shook Ernest’s hand.

Mary said the reason she and Ernest made it to 75 years, and for him living to be 100, is because they remained active both physically and mentally throughout their lives.

“People do things so differently today, they do their own thing,” Mary said. “Get a good job, keep active. It does not have to be square dancing. I volunteered while Ernest was working. If anyone needed something done, someone else would say, ‘ask Mary Floyd.’”

The couple has been all over the world, from Mexico to New Zealand, and square danced for 28 years. They even succeeded in their goal of visiting all of the national parks in the United States.

“He has always been my best friend, and I have always been his best friend,” Mary said. “We’ve always been close. When we moved here, we would hold hands walking down the halls. Others would hold hands because they saw us doing it.”