Married 67 years: Bobby and Jaunita Childers say communication is key

Published 7:29 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

When Bobby Childers found his true love, he decided to make her his bride before he left for the military.

“He proposed in the back seat of the car,” Jaunita Childers said, after finding out the military had mobilized his unit.

That was nearly seven decades ago. On Jan. 3, Bobby and Jaunita Childers celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.

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Bobby and Jaunita met in 1948 after Bobby went to S.H. Kress & Co., which was a five and dime store once located in downtown Vicksburg.

“I had gone in the store to talk to my brother’s girlfriend,” Bobby said, “And (Jaunita) was working there and I asked my brother’s girlfriend ‘who is that girl over there’ and that’s where is started.”

Jaunita said Bobby asked her out about a week later after that first encounter and they went on a double date to the drive in theatre with one of Bobby’s friends.

At the time, the only transportation Bobby had was a motorcycle, Jaunita said, adding, “Mama wouldn’t’ let me ride on the little moped.”

Additional dates followed, including Bobby’s prom.

Jaunita said she had already graduated from Culkin High School when the couple met, but Bobby was a senior at Redwood High School.

Bobby and Jaunita also enjoyed spending time together in the Vicksburg National Military Park.

“We would play on the monuments,” she said, and get on the winding towers.

“There were two winding towers in the park and you could walk up to the top and see the whole park,” she said.

Following graduation, Bobby said he began working at The Vicksburg Post and had only been there for a couple of months when the military mobilized his National Guard unit.

“I was in the 31st Dixie Division and in January they inducted us into the regular Army from the National Guard.”

Before he left with the military on Jan. 21, Bobby proposed.

“We got married at the J.P’s office in Clinton,” Jaunita said, “And I wore a blue suit.”

The couple said they returned to Vicksburg for their honeymoon. Bobby was originally stationed in South Carolina and for the first two years of the marriage, the couple lived apart. “I was in South Carolina and she was here,” Bobby said.

Jaunita said she continued to work at S.H. Kress and lived with her parents.

“I did get to come home sometimes on long weekends,” Bobby said, “And one weekend I got her and took her back with me.”

After getting out of the service in 1952, Bobby returned to his job at The Vicksburg Post, where he is still employed, and the couple bought their first home together on Grove Street.

“We had a duplex apartment,” Bobby said.

In 1954, the couple’s first child, Wayne, was born and their second son, Danny, followed in 1958.

Like most couples, Bobby and Jaunita faced challenges in their marriage, they said, some of which included helping raise their two grandchildren and then their two great-grandchildren, but communication has been key in keeping the marriage together.

“You have to listen to each other and work it out,” Jaunita said. “You may pout a week or two, but still that is no reason to leave. You have to work it out. We have had our arguments, but you have to discuss it.”

“And I mainly give in to her,” Bobby laughed.

Jaunita said she knows she could have let Bobby go when things got tough, but knew there was not any better out there.

“If I had let Bobby go, I could have done worse, and I knew I had a good thing right here.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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