In 1952, the couple was married in Janet’s parents’ home in Austell. Two children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren later, they say they’re still in love. Their nicknames, Doc and Jan, have practically become one word on the lips of friends.
Janet attended Austell High School and Marvin was a star basketball player at rival Fitzhugh Lee School. But their mutual attraction prevailed over a fierce school rivalry. She first fell in love with his singing voice. He says he loves everything about her since they became sweethearts in the mid-1940s.
“I went home and told my mother, ‘Oh mama, I’m so in love,’ and she said, ‘You don’t even know what love is,’” recalled Janet, 77. “I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ I’m in love with Marvin Frady.’”
Following her graduation from Austell High on a Friday night, the couple were married the following Saturday.
“I think as it worked out, we’re soul mates,” said Marvin, 78. “It’s been a wonderful ride. We’d had ups and downs, a few disagreements and stuff, but nothing really serious.”
After the children were born, the family moved to Davenport, Iowa, where Marvin studied at Palmer College to become a chiropractor. Hence why he was dubbed “Doc.” He practiced in Gulfport, Miss., Augusta and Canton. Janet at one time was a model for the department stores Rich’s and Davison’s, now known as Macy’s.
With his wife’s support, Marvin gave up his practice and answered the call to build and become pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Canton. From there, he pastored Calvary Baptist Church in Smyrna. After several years he moved to Clarkdale First Baptist Church near Austell, where he and Janet have been for 22 years.
Rabona Gordon, who works in the Cobb Property Management Department, said her parents still date regularly, leave each other notes, and act silly around one another.
“Sixty years later they’re still one person, pretty much,” she said. In light of Father’s Day, she added that her father is her hero. “He’s so consistent, so honorable. He’s who he is in private just like he is in public.”
In addition to Gordon and her younger brother, Randy, the Frady family includes eight grandchildren: Kinzie Bader; B.J. Turner; Montana, Eli and Sam Gordon; and Charlotte, Cheyenne and Cameron Frady. Nathan Gordon; Hailey, Cassidy and Lucas Bader, are the fourth generation.
“I think it’s awesome that we’ve been together this long and are still very much madly in love, probably more so than we’ve ever been,” said Janet. “I think age does that.”
If there is a secret to their continued matrimonial bliss, it would likely be prayer, said Marvin.
“The Lord is the very center of our home,” he said. “It’s not because I’m a preacher, He was before I was a preacher. If there’s a secret, that’s it. We’re praying people.”
The couple plans to vacation soon in Ormond Beach, Fla.