March 6 marked an incredibly momentous event — 70 years of marriage between Margaret Sue (Tucker) Kennell and Thomas Henry Kennell III of Seagrove Beach, Florida. A celebration with family and friends is taking place Saturday at their truly welcoming home on Eastern Lake.
Margaret and Tom met at Auburn University in the fall of 1940. They fell in love — almost at first sight (Tom says Margaret's incredible legs sealed the deal!) and were married on March 6, 1943.
Tom attended Auburn on a football scholarship and was the quarterback for the Fighting Tigers. Soon after Pearl Harbor, he took a break from college to join the United States Marine Corps. He served as a First Lieutenant during World War II, then returned to Auburn to graduate in 1946. He enjoyed a successful career as an industrial engineer, specializing in the garment industry.
Margaret graduated from Auburn University in 1944. When she wasn't busy raising their children and helping Tom meet the demands of his career, she created a highly successful career of her own as a medical technologist.
After retiring, Margaret and Tom moved permanently down to their vacation home on Eastern Lake in Seagrove Beach, where they continue to enjoy life together with much of their family living nearby.
Margaret and Tom were blessed with eight children: one daughter, Karen of Bonifay, and seven sons, Tom IV of Milton, Michael, deceased, Andy of Durham of North Carolina, Chris of Seagrove Beach, Danny of Bay City, Mich., Patrick of Tallahassee, and David, deceased.
To date they enjoy 16 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
“Mimi and Papa," as they are known by all of their family, are wished the most sincere congratulations on their 70 years together!
TOM AND MARGARET KENNEL
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
What is their secret to a long and successful marriage?
- “Letting the other partner win the arguments. Learning to keep your mouth shut, even when you might not want to, and walking out and cooling down when necessary.”
- “Having true respect for each other.”
- “Being proud of our children and their families.”
What is their secret to keeping such a large family close?
- “The way we feel about all of our in-laws…We've always felt for and treated our son-in-law and daughters-in-law the same as we have our own children.”
- “We have always considered the families of our son and daughters-in-law to be extensions of our family. All extended family members know without having to ask that they are included and invited to all ‘family’ events. We have also welcomed the friends of our children and grandchildren into our home as if they were our own. These feelings and ways of treating one another's families as part of our own have been mutual, which has created a sense that we are all one big happy family, inclusive of all.”