COLUMBUS — On October 6, 2020, Lee and Elinor Gebhart celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Though they currently reside near Columbus, the couple spent most of those 75 years living in the city of Fairborn.
The two met when they were in fifth and sixth grade at Oak Grove School in Mad River Township and became sweethearts. Though they were only in school together for about a year, they couldn’t forget each other.
They stayed connected through their sisters, who were friends. One weekend, Lee asked if he could visit. He asked Elinor on their first date on June 4, 1944. At the time, Elinor attended school at Antioch College after graduating as the valedictorian of her high school class.
Lee Gebhart and Elinor Layton married a little over a year later on Saturday, October 6, 1945. Lee was 19 years old, and Elinor was 18. The wedding took place on her parent’s family farm, and the newlywed couple honeymooned at a cabin at Indian Lake.
They lived in Fairborn for 69 years, moving from her parents’ farm to Columbia Avenue. Later, they moved to a bigger house on Pleasant Avenue, and they now live together, independently, in a retirement community in Columbus. They still have the bedroom furniture that they received as a wedding gift from Elinor’s parents.
The Gebharts have four children, six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. They still participate in the four-generation lake vacation the family enjoys in Tennessee each summer.
The Gebharts’ family members had previously made plans to throw a party worthy of the special occasion. However, due to COVID-19, those plans for such a celebration had to be changed. Lee and Elinor had expected the day would pass unmarked, but their children and grandchildren surprised them, and found new ways to make the day a memorable one. Their Ohio family threw a small celebration at their retirement village, and then a second one via Zoom for out of state family.
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532
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