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Delbert and Jean Hawkins
67 Years of Marriage
By Echo Menges
Delbert and Jean Hawkins are nothing short of a Knox County institution. Their namesake, Hawkins Insurance, is known well throughout the region – along with being one of the largest, longest running employers in the county. They have breathed a culture of love and support into a longstanding business with lasting impact on the region. For this love story, those realities cannot be understated.
The Hawkins’ are Knox County natives. They were both born in 1933 in farmhouses on their family farms.
“That’s what we did back then. Babies were born at home,” laughed Jean Hawkins. “I was born around Bee Ridge. I was a twin.”
Jean was born on March 3, 1933, to Tom and Carrie Hall.
Delbert was born east of Edina on November 29, the same year, to Tom and Deana Hawkins.
Both grew up on family farms. Jean attended the country school in Novelty and Delbert went to the Edina school, however, they didn’t go together until they graduated.
“We met in Edina. We were both working. He was working at the grocery store and I was working at the glove factory. It was 1951,” said Jean. She turned 18 in the early spring and he was 18 in the fall.
She remembers the first time she saw him.
“He worked at Mustoe’s Supermarket and he asked my girlfriend where I was. She told me about it and I didn’t know who he was,” said Jean. “ We went by the grocery store to see him, and I told her ‘he can’t be more than 14-years-old,’ when I saw him.”
Delbert still swoons about his wife.
“She was the cutest little girl in the whole United States,” said Delbert, who had his eye on Jean before they ever met. “She worked hard. I’d go into the coffee shop to take a break. She would serve coffee. I saw her there.”
The first time the two went on a date, it wasn’t with each other. They double dated with friends. He had recently graduated from high school. She graduated the year before.
“I said, ‘Jeannie, WE need to go on a date,’” said Delbert.
And so, they did – roller skating their way through the summer and a two-year courtship.
“We did go to Leo’s Roller Rink a lot. It was in Kirksville,” said Jean. “He was a very good skater. I had to learn but he was very good. He could skate backwards and everything else. I think he learned to skate when the rink was above the Sandknop Store.”
“There’s a roller rink up there. That’s where I learned how to skate. All the kids would be up there,” said Delbert about the Edina roller skating rink. “After we started dating, every week, Friday night or Saturday night, we were at the Kirksville roller rink.”
They didn’t seek permission to get married. Jean remembers their engagement as an understanding. She “just knew” they would be married.
“We didn’t talk about it much,” said Jean.
“Right from the start, I knew I was going to marry her. All these other girls, I just ditched them,” said Delbert. “I was very fortunate because I have worked since I was nine-years-old. I had a car and money. The rest of the guys didn’t have cars right after school and all summer.”
On August 17, 1953, the two took their wedding vows at the Edina Assembly of God Church. Brother Merle White officiated the wedding. Jean’s twin brother, Eugene, and sister, Ernestine, stood up for them.
They didn’t go on a honeymoon after their union.
“No, we just kept on working,” said Jean. “We moved to Illinois for about a year and then we moved back to Edina. He was working at a grocery store up there. The store burnt down and he lost his job, and we moved back to Edina.”
The year they returned they welcomed their first child, their son Ron. The next year they welcomed a daughter, Sharon. A couple of years later, they welcomed another daughter, Belinda.
Delbert started working in the insurance business and opened an office in Edina around 1957.
“It was a little building down where the bank is now. Just a little office by the filling station,” said Delbert.
The seeds were planted for Hawkins Insurance.
“We got along really good from the start,” said Delbert. “We didn’t have any battles that I remember.”
“We’ve always gone to church together and vacations. We’ve spent 20 years going to Arizona for a couple of months in the winters starting after the kids were grown. We’re too old for that now,” said Jean.
“I’ve got a lot of favorite things about her,” said Delbert. “The key is that she’s Christian and she’s faithful. We’ve been going to the same church the whole time.”
“We never considered splitting,” said Jean. “We never mentioned divorce.”
“The key word is, yes. Yes, Dear. You don’t ever get in trouble saying yes,” said Delbert about his secret to such a long lasting marriage.
“Never be afraid to say I’m sorry,” is the advice Jean would give to young couples just starting out.
After over 67 years of marriage and nearly 70 years of being together, Delbert and Jean continue to live in Knox County. They have nine grandchildren and are getting ready to welcome their twenty-first great-grandchild.
Larry and Lois Overstreet
64 Years of Marriage
By Lorrie Pantaleo
Larry Overstreet was born at the family farm near Edina to Clint and Neva Overstreet.
Lois Smith was born in Newark to Ross and Hatti Smith.
They met while attending the Edina High School when Larry was 17 and Lois was 15.
They went on their first date to an FFA Barn Warming Dance.
Larry and Lois were married on March 5, 1956, in Shelbina, MO, at the home of Rev. J.L. Shoemaker who officiated the wedding. Dale Dixson and Betty Ann Dixson stood up for them.
After being married they lived in an apartment above the Edina Dentist Office.
They have six children, four girls and two boys, Leeann, Lorrie, Lee, Letitia, Leslie, and Lynnette. Along with their children they have been blessed with nine granddaughters and ten grandsons, along with 20 great grandchildren.
For 65 years they have lived near Edina.
Larry and Lois are enjoying their golden years, fishing, gardening, canning, hunting, taking walks, playing cards and entertaining their children, grandkids and great grandkids as well as spending time with their church family and friends. They are members of the Hurdland Baptist Church.
The secret to their long lasting relationship is “a lot of give and take.” They also had good examples set by their parents who were married over 50 and 60 years.
In 2020 Larry and Lois welcomed four new great- grandchildren. Also in 2020 they lost a very close and special brother-in-law-Mike Kite and a very dear friend and maid-of-honor at their wedding Betty Ann Dixson.
Larry and Lois will celebrate their 65th Wedding Anniversary on March 5th, 2021. Please shower them with cards congratulating them on their milestone.