Ilene and Fred Clay celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Wednesday, November 16, 2016. They were married on November 16, 1946, just three days after Ilene’s 19th birthday.
The couple met when Fred returned from serving in the U.S Navy during World War II. Ilene was working at Harkin’s Five and Dime in Okemah. Fred was searching for a comb. Ilene was a sales clerk and sold him several items. She thought he was so “nice”.
Fred followed her home where she was renting a room from two sweet, elderly sisters.
Fred has always joked about how he met his “million dollar baby in a 5 and 10 cent store”.
Their first child, Shirley June, passed away at only a few months old. Years later, their daughter Gail was born and 15 months later Paula arrived.
Ilene was a stay-at-home mom until the girls were grown and Fred worked at the American Exchange Bank.