Clarence Purvis of Georgia met his wife Carolyn in 1948 and they had been together since then until 2013, when she died.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 12, 2021. It has since been updated.
There are very few people who are lucky to find a love that lasts beyond death. After spending a lifetime together with his wife, a man in Georgia has kept his love for her alive despite her passing away. People who see his devotion to the most important woman in his life are left wondering if they would be loved and remembered the way he keeps the memory of his wife alive.
Widower Clarence Purvis, 93, from Georgia had become famous on social media in 2017 when he was photographed with a photo of a woman on his table at a restaurant. The photograph of his wife, Carolyn Todd, gave him company while he ate at Smith's Diner, his favorite restaurant, according to PEOPLE.
Their love story began in 1948 when he met Carolyn. It didn't take long for them to confess their love for each other and they got married in 1949. They spent the next 63 years together until death did them apart in 2013. "Eat lunch, come back, watch television, go to bed, love one another. What more you want?” he told WTOC. "We had everything we wanted."
They had been content in their little universe and there is no replacement for the joy they must have felt in each other's presence. After her death, he made it his mission to keep her memory alive and didn't care about containing his love for her. He was so devoted that he became famous around his city in Southern Georgia for keeping a framed photograph of Carolyn on him at all times.
"She was always with me when we were living," he told WTOC. "She’s with me now," he added while eating at his favorite table at Smith's Diner. "He's a part of this restaurant. He is a part," said Joyce James, the owner of the restaurant.
A few folks have told him that finding another woman to love might help him get past his grief. "They said if I get me a girlfriend things will be better,” he said. “I could ask her, could I get me a girlfriend? You know what she’d say? If you want too. That’s how we operated," said the then-93-year-old.
At home, he used to keep a collection of photos and mementos, including a lamp, which belonged to her, that has stayed on since Carolyn came out of the hospital five months before she passed away. "This here, that lamp ain't never turned off," he said. "Ain’t nobody loved one another more than me and my wife loved one another," he said, adding, "I wanted what she wanted and she wanted what I wanted."
"She's a perfect wife if ever been one," Clarence told News19. "Ain't nobody loved one another more than we loved one another. Everybody said that."
And he may not have been wrong. Smith’s Diner's owner, Joyce, said that she asked her husband if he would do something similar when she was gone and his response was nothing like Clarence's. "I asked my husband, I said, 'You know if something happened to me, will you put my picture on the table?' He said, 'I don’t think so dear.' He said, 'I love you but, that might be a little much,'" Joyce told WTOC.
Clarence started each morning by driving to the cemetery and getting down on one knee to kiss Carolyn's grave. "Baby, I wish you could go home with me. I'd trade places with you," he told her, according to News19.
Clarence's heart and home were a shrine to his beloved. He would drive his 20-year-old Mercury to the Glennville Cemetery at least four times a day to visit her grave. When he was not engaged in his devotion to her, he worked, even though he didn't need to. In fact, he loved working exactly because he didn't need to. He used to do yard work for the church and for neighbors. Usually, without charging any money for it.
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz