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Love Stories: The key to a good marriage? 'Having a good wife'

Cheryle and C.E. Malphrus laugh Monday at their home in Okatie.
Cheryle and C.E. Malphrus laugh Monday at their home in Okatie. Sarah Welliver/The Island Packet

This month: Charles E. and Cheryle Malphrus

Residence: Okatie

Married: Feb. 24, 1961, in Ridgeland

HOW THEY MET

Cheryle: We went to church together. I knew his mom and dad. I was a junior in high school at the time.

C.E.: I was a bit older. I finished (University of South Carolina with a degree in civil engineering) in 1959. I went to work in Texas, but I came back as soon as I could. Her people went to church regular and mine didn't. When we'd go to church, we'd have plays sometimes, and that's how I got to know her.

One day, she saw me somewhere and said she had something to tell me. She wanted me to come out to her house.

That kind of started it off. I'm not going to say what she told me (laughs). After that, there was talk going around, not in my favor. But it caused me to break off another relationship.

I liked her instantly. She was smooth and easygoing. She had a big head of hair with natural curls.

Cheryle: Shortly after that we were seeing each other regularly.

DATING IN RIDGELAND

Cheryle: He was working up in Greenville at the time and he'd come home on the weekends.

There wasn't a whole lot to do in Ridgeland.

C.E.: The Rotisserie. It was a hamburger place, curb service. We had Bailey's Pavilion on the weekends.

Cheryle: We had the swimming pool, the American Legion.

C.E.: We didn't date that long. We met and nine months later we were married.

THE PROPOSAL

C.E.: I told her I was going to Memphis to work. And that's where she wanted to go. I knew Cheryle would want to go.

Cheryle: He didn't get down on one knee, "Will you marry me?" More practical.

C.E.: I went to Levy Jewelers in Savannah. I took her there and she picked up a nice wedding ring. I was happy to see her so happy.

Cheryle: I didn't have any second thoughts about going to Memphis.

C.E.: I was 24 and she was 16. One of her aunts told her she was too young to get married. We checked later and found out that aunt got married at 16, too.

Cheryle: Guess she was speaking from experience.

THE WEDDING

C.E.: We got married in a little wooden church built in 1927. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We got married and went to Hilton Head for a night. Came back and my sister married the next night.

Cheryle: He kind of upstaged her.

C.E.: That was a good enough reason for me to get married (laughs). We got married in February, and in June, I took her to the temple (in Salt Lake City) and we were sealed for time and eternity, which is a ritual that temples do. That means you're together for all eternity.

MARRIED LIFE

C.E.: I had a college education, a good job, a convertible Thunderbird. We got married and I thought everything was going to be 50-50, split the duties. She was young, so I thought I could mold her. But it turned out to be 90-10. And I had to struggle to make it to 10. She was a good mother and a good worker. She's the most wonderful person you ever could meet, a jewel of rare quality.

KEY TO A GOOD MARRIAGE

C.E.: Key to a good marriage? Having a good wife.

Cheryle: He's good. He knows what to say. One of the things I've lived by all my life is treat someone like you'd want to be treated. I'd do things for him so he'd do the same. That's how I've always lived my life.

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