AUGUSTA (WJBF) — An Augusta couple is celebrating 60 years of marriage and their kids created quite the display for them at the entrance to their neighborhood.
Jim and Linda Locke got married on July 28th, 1957.
The Locke family is known throughout the National Hills neighborhood in Augusta.
“Friday was the actual anniversary, 60 years, but we have been celebrating since last Friday,” Linda said.
Jim and Linda have had quite the busy week.
“Our children surprised us. They wrote us a poem and they took us on a surprise trip,” Linda said.
The trip was to the mountains, but even more special, after that, was a trip down memory lane at the church where Jim and Linda got married 60 years ago.
“I adore him,” Linda said.
“I think she’s beautiful,” Jim replied.
The two thought they were done getting their 60th anniversary gifts, that is until Friday morning, when their son, Kenneth, showed them a sign off Washington Road.
“His wife Tammy did every bit of it. Cut out all of it. And our daughter, Brenda, who died in 1999, was right in the center of the back,” Linda said.
It’s a beautiful portrait of the Locke Family for everyone to see.
Jim and Linda say they’ve been blessed with amazing children, but there has been heartbreak for them as their 41-year-old daughter, Brenda, committed suicide.
The National Hills neighborhood sign is a memorial for Brenda.
“The death of a child sometimes separates people. Separates a couple, but it brought us closer,” Linda said.
Jim spends a lot of his time maintaining the sign, but he also works on his model train set.
“He has a lot of energy. I can’t keep up with him,” Linda said.
Every piece of the display has a meaning, whether it’s a name or the JNL Men’s Store they owned in Augusta.
As the train goes round and round, it’s a reminder that their love is everlasting.
“Faith. Faith in God. He saw us through the death of our daughter,” Linda said.
Another thing that kept Jim and Linda together all these years is TRUST.
The two say the wouldn’t have made it without trusting and loving each other, even through the bad times.