Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Buncombe News – Love is strong in Buncombe

By Dolly Hopkins

Next Saturday, Feb. 14, is Valentine’s Day. Do not forget your girlfriend or spouse. I read an inept romantic sentiment for Valentine’s Day, very original. “My love for you runs hotter than a 1974 Nova with a V-8 engine and a busted water pump.” Now, that is “love!”

Valentine’s Day is a day named in honor of Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr of the third century A.D. It is celebrated by sending valentines to a friend, relative or loved one. Hope you all get one, beside my wishes for you my readers. Have a great day!

The Village of Buncombe is just a little speck on our Illinois map, populated by a few hundred great people. Several of our residents have lived here all their life and have been married for a long time. So, I thought it will be a good idea to find out how they met in honor of Saint Valentine. It was a lot of fun talking with those couples by phone or personally. I hope you all enjoy it.

How We Met

1. Sherry O’Neal and Bob Belcher.

They met in Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Buncombe, where Sherry and her family worship. Bob came to church one day with a friend. They met. Sherry thought he was very handsome, and one day he asked her for a date. They fell in love and a year later they married, and made their home here in Buncombe. They still worship at Mt. Zion Church. They have been married 38 years, have three beautiful daughters and four grandkids. Bob retired from the Vienna Correctional Center and is enjoying raising chickens and turkeys. Sherry also retired from V.C.C., is an Avon lady and takes care of two of their grandkids. Love is very much present in their household after 38 years of marriage.

2. Margaret Prater and Denny Dorsey.

They met on a blind date, arranged by a mutual friend. They went to the friend’s home and made pizza and had a great time. He asked her out again. They got married and lasted 32 years, until his death in 2001. He was mayor of Buncombe for several years.

They had three children and one grandchild. Though Dennis is gone, she will always remember their life together.

3. Caroline Fort and Bob Hoffman.

According to Caroline, “their fathers worked together.” He saw me and got interested. I was going to college and we started dating. On the first date the weather turned icy, but Bob kept our date, and drove on ice to get to my parents home on Buncombe Road. That proved to me he was serious and dependable. He took me back home safe and sound. We married and 30 wonderful years later we have two children, Bobby working for FS and Taylor  who will graduate from college this year. Bob still makes sure our family is safe in winter.” Bob is retired from the US Post Office and now is custodian of Buncombe School. Caroline is a substitute teacher.

4. April and Michael Hoots.

According to April, they met at work even though they had different shifts. They talked when doing paper work between shifts. Each one had a child and were single parents. Since there seems to be chemistry among them, they decided to arrange for a play day picnic with their children. They started dating and they have been together for 17 years and five children among them. They are First Responders and volunteers for the Buncombe Fire Department. I thank her deeply for that.

5. Jeannie Kerley and Bob McCall.

Bob was in the Navy and was on leave from Corpus Christi, Texas for a few days en route to San Diego, California. Since he had a few days off he came home. He was leaving Ned’s Shade Restaurant when Jeannie just happened to pass by in her car with some friends. Bob saw her and was smitten immediately and told his friends, “he wanted to date that girl.” After several tries, they went out. After he came back from the Navy, they married. It has been 50 years ago and two daughters, Sheila Neighbors of Buncombe and Rachelle Shoemake from Goreville. One grandson, Landon Shoemake.

Bob retired from the operating engineers and Jeannie is our clerk-treasurer for the Village of Buncombe.

6. Sheila McCall and Bret Neighbors.

They both work at the Anna Walmart. A friend intervened to introduce them and fix a date. After dating two years, they got married. You can find a lot of things at Walmart, including love!

“When I look back at our lives together for 24 years, I see a marriage made in heaven,” she said. They each always said they had married their best friend with God blessings.

Happy birthday Sheila, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day!

7. Terry Sue Casey and Troy Norris.

Troy was Terry Sue’s brother, Shane, best friend. So he knew her and liked her. When Terry Sue started working at Veach Truck Stop in West Vienna, he would spend a lot of time there and watch over her. During a date she thought she broke his nose accidently.

They got married Sept. 14, 1991. They own Norris Body Shop in Buncombe and live next door to the business. They have been married almost 25 years. They have three children, Lake, Dawson and Casey. Terry said they work together, pray together and go to church together. He is still taking care of them. It’s obvious they have built a great life. Their “togetherness” is everywhere.

8. Linda Dillow and Doug Reid.

They both were students at Shawnee College and had classes together, as well as Doug’s sister, Ruth. They all will go to the student center and became good friends. They went together for two years and married May 24, 1975 in Anna.

Doug worked construction and Linda was still in college finishing her studies. After many moves, they settled in their new home in Buncombe, where they actually reside. They hope never to move again. There are just too many good memories that linger there for them. After 40 years together, three children and five grandkids, the Lord has really blessed them.

Linda is a first grade teacher at Vienna Grade School. Doug retired as Buncombe mail carried. They are great neighbors to me. Thank you.

9. Julie and Jack Stewart.

They met in the Parents Without Partners in Elgin. Julie was a member of their bowling league and left early to go bowl, and Jack followed her to the bowling alley and later took her out to eat. There he asked her to go with him to the next bowling outing for Parents Without Partners. She did and dated from then on. They married Sept. 13, 1975, and will celebrate 40 years together. Combined between them, they have four children, eight grands and one great-grandchild.

They built their home on Jack’s home place in Buncombe. They also have built a wonderful life together.

10. Sally Spurlock and Bud Stout.

Sally’s family moved from Anna to a farm house in rural Buncombe. She came to Buncombe School, “I came from a one room school in Anna to Buncombe School, and I was so excited being in a bigger school. To me it was like a city school,” Sally said. She met Bud at the school. He was three years older and became friends. They were childhood sweethearts. After they graduated, Bud asked her out, she did and after a few years got married. They have been together 56 years, three children and 10 grandkids.

Bud retired from the power plant at Choate Mental Health in Anna. Sally is a homemaker and a “professional grandma” for the whole family. She takes excellent care of Bud who is in poor health, always together after 56 years. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you to all these couples for being my friends and neighbors. May Go bless you all with health and happiness together.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

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