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Daughter performs parent’s wedding

Pastor Sharon Sabom helps make it legal after 55 years


HIGHLANDS — It is not unusual for a couple to renew their wedding vows, especially on a significant anniversay. But to be remarried legally 55 years after the fact is a bit strange.

This unusual occurrence happened in Highlands last week.

Duffie and Charlene Monroe were married in Baytown on July 26, 1953, by a Lutheran pastor. A reception was held at Charlene’s parent’s house on John Martin Road.

Now fast-forward 55 years. Sharon Sabom, pastor of Highlands United Methodist Church said that her mother called her on Aug.19 with a most unusual story and request.

“She and Dad have decided to be buried in Mission, TX, in the VA cemetery there. They have plots in Houston, and as the executrix of their estate, they wanted me to know the changes. They spoke with a representative from the VA, who informed them what papers were necessary, including a copy of the marriage license,” Sabom said. “Mom commented that she didn’t know where that document was – or if they had ever received one. They have moved several times, and are currently residing in their RV.”

The representative from the VA advised the couple to go to the courthouse or courthouse annex and get a certified copy and send it with the necessary paperwork, and that would be fine.

“They went to the courthouse annex in Humble as they were staying near Conroe. After an extensive search, they were informed that the State of Texas has no record of them every being married,” Sabom said. “Evidently the pastor that performed the ceremony in 1953 never filed the paper work. Mom was calling to tell me that she and Dad were not “legally” married! This after just celebrating their 55th anniversary! So… before they left the court house annex, they got a marriage license.”

Sabom said that they wanted her to drive over and ‘get them married!’ “After I caught my breath from laughing so hard, I reminded them they had to wait 72 hours to get married after getting the license.”

The couple was married on August 23 p.m., in the sanctuary of Highlands United Methodist Church

Sabom’s brother, Malcolm, the senior pastor at Nederland First United Methodist Church, also helped with the ceremony, as did brothers Marshall and Duffie Wayne.

The eldest son, Duffie Wayne, walked his mother down the aisle and gave her away. Araby Michelle Sticksel, the eldest granddaughter, was the Maid of Honor, and Brandon Duffie Monroe, the eldest grandson served as Best Man.

“All this is just too funny, and we are blessed that our parents think it’s funny also, and are having a good time with this,” Sabom added.