County Road 11: Kemper couple celebrates 80th anniversary

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KEMPER COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Leola and Ernest Merideth celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary Wednesday.

Ernest and Leola Merideth, of Kemper County, Miss., married Dec. 27, 1937.

Let that sink in for a minute. Ernest is 103 years old and his bride is a spry 92. They're both originally from Neshoba County but have been in rural Kemper County for the last half century. He spent much of his life working for Weyerhaeuser while she has taken care of the household and family since she was in her teens.

"All the life I've ever known was a married life," said Leola Merideth. "I don't know nothing about nary other. So anyway, life has been good to me."

"Walk around. See about my little ole animals," said Ernest Merideth. "Cats and dogs and things and just piddle around the house."

The Merideths have had 11 children and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren. And while Ernest has slowed down a little, Leola keeps busy tending to her beloved flowers and plants.

"My flowers is what keeps me going and everything is my flowers," said Leola. "Working and waiting on him and everything. I tell anybody that they have to stay busy. It's not good to sit down."

The obvious question for the Merideths is their secret of living such long lives and sustaining a marriage for 80 years.

"That's all I can tell anybody it to trust in the Lord and have faith," said Leola. "If you just set your goal to do something, have the faith it's going to work out. But you know God don't work like we do. He don't come when we want him, but He'll be on time."

Leola and Ernest Merideth of Kemper County, celebrating 80 years together and you can bet their legacy will be around much longer than that.