Wilbur (Wib) and Mae Mowen met at church in January 1944 in Pennsylvania. Wib came home from the Navy on weekends in order to get to know Mae better.
“It was love at first sight for me. I did look at other girls briefly, but they were never as beautiful as Mae,” Wib says.
Mae and Wib officially dated for 19 days before they got married in July of 1944. Wib was deployed right after the wedding.
Their daughter Jeannie was born in May of 1945. Wib was on a ship in the middle of the ocean when Jeannie was born. He received a telegraph that states, “Mother and daughter are doing well” which is still framed on his wall in their bedroom.
The Mowens had 4 children Jeannie, Wilbur, Rick and Ned Harry. Unfortunately, Ned Harry passed shortly after he was born. He is buried in Pennsylvania. They are now blessed with nine grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Wib and Mae will happily celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary on July 22. When asked the secret to their successful marriage they both stated quickly, “God!”
"From the moment I was born, my mother took me to church. Church and God have always been in the center of my life. When I met my wife at church, I knew it was the plan God had for me. I took my children to church just as soon as they were born and raised them to always take everything to prayer," said Wib. "God has given me and my family musical talent. I play the bass guitar, Mae and Jeannie play the piano and both of my boys play lead guitar. I have done everything in church from collecting the offering to leading the music to teaching classes. The only one thing I haven’t done was preach to a congregation. However, I do share my faith with others, so in a sense, maybe I do preach on some level."
How did Mae and Wib handle the hard times in life, especially during years of hard financial times and some difficult losses?
Mae answered, “We never went to bed angry at each other, we always talk out the problem, then we give each other a good night kiss.”
Wib stated, “The only time in our marriage I was not able to kiss Mae goodnight was when I was deployed overseas.”
Wib was deployed overseas but when he returned he was reassigned and they moved from place to place in the United States.
“I would take my suitcase in hand, along with my three children, and follow him anywhere he would go. One of the best moves in our lives," said Mae, “was the move to Presbyterian Village of Fort Scott. This quickly became our home, and it feels comfortable and exactly right. I am very glad that our family helped Wib and I find the Village. We feel towards the Village as though they are our new family. The staff is great to us and we are both so thankful for this phase of our lives together and being around people we love!”