Family Stories

1990: Clarkson Fortieth Anniversary

In November 1990 four couples gathered in Greeneville Tennessee to celebrate their Fortieth Wedding Anniversaries. Two delightful accounts follow:

It's a warm and affectionate congratulations to Rowland and Germaine Clarkson, who are observing their 40th wedding anniversary this week. And it is with lots of good company that they are marking this major milestone.

Since Thursday they have been making merry with three other couples from their native Oklahoma, all relatives and close friends who were wed at about the same time they were in 1950. The mutually cherished congenial pairs include Germaine's brother and his wife, Rowland's sister and her husband, and two in-laws.

Tonight there will be a "Bridal Banquet" for these four sets of "honeymooners" who have shared so much. The wedding feast will be served at the Clarksons' home on Rankin Drive by their son, Lance in the role of butler, [son-in-law Steve Richards as maitre d], and their daughters, Leslie of Johnson City, Laura of Nashville, and Lance's wife Judy of Greeneville, all "done out" in captivating French waitress uniforms produced by that accomplished designing woman, Jane deHaven. This sophisticated foursome will guarantee that the gourmet dinner moves without a hitch. It gives promise of being a very special night to remember.

We welcome them all to our fair city, hope they will come again soon and often, and rejoice in having our own Rowland and Germaine here to stay.

Greeneville Sun (Greeneville, Tennessee) 3 November 1990.

Oklahoma City's Classen High School Correspondent Report by Jack Ferrell:

As I write this, the beautiful fall colors have reached their peak in the mountains of Tennessee and I feel this is prime time to contact some of my Comet colleagues to see how they are faring.

I hit the jackpot when I called the residence of Rowland Clarkson '46 and Germaine Millspaugh Clarkson '47 over in Greenville, Tennessee. I found eight Classen Comets gathered together in the Clarkson's home! Bob clarkson Millspaugh '43 from Tulsa answered the phone. Bob told me that he and his wife, Millie F Robinson Millspaugh '43; Bob Hutchison '46 and his wife Blanche Aubin Clarkson Hutchison '49 from Almont, Co; and Frank D Robinson '48 with his wife, Delma Jo Mason Robinson '48 from OKC were all at the Clarksons' to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversaries. As you might have surmised from their names, there are three brother-sister relationship here. Bob Millspaugh and Germaine Clarkson are siblings, as are Rowland Clarkson and Blanche Hutchison and Frank Robinson and Millie Millspaugh.

All four couples were married in OKC in September or November of 1950. They've been friends for years, but they waited until they were scattered from Colorado to Oklahoma to Tennessee to stage a wedding anniversary party for themselves.

The next morning I talked to Germaine, and she told me that she and Rowland had been in Tennessee for over 12 years and Rowland had been in the hardware business in Morristown, but were now in Greenville, where Rowland was now a full time Episcopal priest. As I was talking to Germaine, she told me that Frank wanted to talk to me. Frank and I played football together at Classen. I will never forget the beautiful pass that Frank used to throw. It was always right in the hands of the catcher. Figured that Frank should have gone professional!

As we were talking, the newlyweds were all getting ready to go on a picnic. I know we all want to offer our congratulations on their 40th anniversary, and wish them many more to come.