For nearly six decades this couple stood by each other and fulfilled their vows, till death did them part.
Not everyone is lucky enough to find their soulmate. But if and when you do find them, to hold on to them dearly for decades is proof of true love. That is exactly what a senior couple residing in Tennessee were lucky enough to find.
Then two devastating tornadoes whiplashed through the state of Tennessee in the United States in March 2020. Winds soared to 175 mph, causing immense destruction that resulted in buildings being torn asunder, people going missing, and as many as 24 people killed, according to CNN.
Among those who tragically lost their lives in the natural disaster are the lifelong pair, who died next to each other on their mattress after it was thrown from their bed. "About as close as you can get," Mt. Juliet Police Department Capt. Tyler Chandler said, reported The Tennessean.
84-year-old James "Jimmy" Easton and his wife, 81-year-old Donna Eaton had been married for nearly six decades. They had found love with each other and they weren't about to let it go, according to USA Today. Both of them had been practicing, good-faith Christians; James often visited hospitals with Pastoral Care & Senior Adult Pastor David Fallin as well as helped with a church coffee bar on Sundays. Donna was a retired business manager at First Baptist Church Mt. Juliet and continued to fill in as needed with office responsibilities, Pastor David said. They were the couple to look up to in times of need and hardships and the fact that their marriage was truly a blessed one was an inspiration to their families as well.
“The best earthly example of what a marriage should look like. They showed Christ’s love and his sacrifice. They both loved our families through challenging times of life,” their grandson Jake Hardy-Moore told The Tennessean of his grandparents’ 58-year union. "They were the ones we looked to when times were difficult, and they kept us pointed toward God and to be dependent on God."
"A great tribute to a special couple. Married 58 years. Always supportive. Always there. Always cheerful. We will cherish their lives. The Eatons represented the very best of First Baptist," Pastor Phillip Dunn said. "To know them was to love them. They carried with them a happy spirit, and their love for their church family was a model to all of us. To know that they were taken from us so quickly in a storm shocks all of us. We can also rest assured that Jim and Donna loved Christ and woke up with their faith becoming sight."
"They were a true example of God's love in their family, their marriage, the community of Mt. Juliet, and beyond," the obituary read, according to CBS News. "They were humble, kind and lived life fully. Whether they were on their daily walks, cheering on the Cincinnati Reds, Bunko or card night, church fellowship or supporting their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren through any activity they exemplified the love of God."
We offer their families condolences, as well as those of the 22 others who lost their lives in the tragic tornadoes.