“It doesn’t feel like it’s been 49 years,” said David, 69. “We do everything together. We grocery shop, trips of any kind, and
They even have a calling card that says if you see one of them, you see the other.
The Englands raised two children, Donna and Scott. Scott lives in Cobb County, and Donna lives in Paulding. They also have one grandchild, Donna’s daughter Megan, 18, who goes to South Paulding High.
The Englands met in Pennsylvania when Ardee moved with her family as a junior in high school.
“Dave was friends with my brother and he started to show me around,” said Ardee, 72. “I became friends with underclassmen because of him.”
She was cautious about dating him, since she was a senior and he a freshman, but she definitely liked him.
“I would say ‘he’s just a friend,’” Ardee said as she smiled at her
David said, “we just enjoyed each other’s company so much, and of course she had her driver’s license first so she would drive me around.”
The couple married in 1963 when David was 20 and Ardee was 23.
“Believe it or not we bought a house before we got married,” David said. “We didn’t make hardly any money at all, but between the two of us we saved a $1,000 down payment, and back then that was a lot of money. I stayed there for about two weeks before we got married, then we moved in. You had to be 21 to buy a house, so the house was under her name.”
David’s job as an operations manager for BASF, a global chemical company, took the couple from Pennsylvania to New York, and then to Chicago before they landed in Austell about 1980.
Since David retired eight years ago from BASF, the couple has devoted much of their time to improving their health through exercise.
“We get up at 7 every morning and are on the (Silver Comet) trail by 7:30,” David said. “We walk for two and a half hours, it’s seven miles. We come back and take a quick shower, then we go to the gym five days a week from 11:30 to 12:30. Three days we do a workout with weights, bands and balls. The other two we do stretching. We head back to the house, eat some lunch, read the papers. About 2:30 to 3, I head down to the basement to go do what we call the gazelle, it’s a cross-country type thing. I do that for about an hour and a half. By that time, it’s time for dinner. In between those things if we have shopping to do we do that or visit somebody. Saturday we have no gym so we walk a little further, eight miles. Sunday we don’t walk at all. We take one day off.”
As for their marital happiness, they say it takes work.
“You have to work hard at it,” David said. “You have to make sacrifices, and become a soul mate. So many people today hit a rough patch and they leave. Children have a hard time with that too.”
Added Ardee: “You have to learn to accept criticism. My mother said never go to bed angry. It’s really hard for me to apologize. I was always right in my mind. You have to work together to say you’re going to move on.”