On Saturday afternoon following our fun celebration with our 2 year old, we got to celebrate again! This time for my Paw Paw's 90th birthday. On February 18, 1926 the sweet man we call Paw Paw made his debut. =) He was the firstborn and one and only son of Eddie and Minnie Piper. His four little sisters came after him.
Paw Paw joined the Navy when he was 17 years old before even graduating high school. He served during WWII and came back home and finished high school and graduated in 1945 or 46, and it was around this time that he and my Granny started dating and eventually got married.
He and my Granny officially met or knew each other from school but apparently one of the first times Granny really noticed him and saw him was at a victory dance in town. Supposedly he was dancing with a redhead, but needless to say once Granny came along they fell in love and the rest is history. =) They were married on December 21, 1946 and had approximately $2 to their name. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Paw Paw has always called Granny his Christmas bride. God has blessed them so, so much. And by default, us as well! What an amazing testimony and example of faithfulness and commitment!
My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression, Paw Paw served in the war, they got married and started a family. Paw Paw later went to college and earned his degree. They raised my Uncle Terry and my mom, have served in their church for years and years, have served their family for years and years, they've traveled, they experienced adventure, they've experienced ups and downs, trials and successes. And Paw Paw's birthday party reminded me of that. I've only ever known them as my grandparents, but they've been way more than just grandparents. Now that I'm older, their story amazes me. They truly are part of the greatest generation and what an honor to be their granddaughter!
My Uncle Terry shared some things about Paw Paw not only joining the Navy before finishing high school and coming home to go back and graduate and then later going on to college, but also what he's meant to him in his life, as a dad and as a friend and a hero. It was really sweet.
Ed and Lou Piper or "Granny and Paw Paw"
Granny and Paw Paw with my mom and uncle.
And Garrison got in a picture too. =)
With their newest great grandbaby!
Baby Girl loves her thumb. =)
A few of the pictures that were on display...
His Navy picture and military card....
Granny and Paw Paw as a young couple
Paw Paw with my mom and uncle on Christmas. I'm guessing this was in 1954 or 55. Love the tree by the window dripping with tinsel!!
The whole fam. =)
One of my favorite pictures of my grandparents, not only because it was taken at my wedding but because this is how I've always known them and always think of them. They're just Granny and Paw Paw to me. =)
Saturday afternoon was such a special celebration. I loved the reminder that Paw Paw was a teenager once. He was a sailor. He was a young man. He was a young husband and dad. Then years and years later he was a grandparent. And he's even had adventures and fun since becoming one and even since retirement!
He is truly loved and respected by so many. We counted 83 people at his party!! What a privilege to celebrate his 90th birthday with him and to call him Paw Paw. He's always been the strong, silent type but whenever he has something to say you'd better listen because it's going to be a gem. =) So thankful for every one of his 90 years and all the gems I've been blessed to hear over just a portion of those years!! Happy Birthday again Paw Paw! We love you!!