Married for Seventy Years

William Edward Delamar and Maggie Lean Weaver Delamar grew up in Dalark, Arkansas. The couple attended school together but began their courtship after an event at First Baptist Church. Rev. L.L. Kilpatrick married them August 14, 1937, at Mt. Olive AME church parsonage in Dalark, Arkansas. Mr. Delamar retired from Anthony Timberland, a lumber company, in 1979 after working there for twenty-five years, and in 1981 he returned to the company to work part-time. Currently 89 years of age, he is still working part-time. Mrs. Delamar raised their children in a godly and loving home, teaching them Christian values. She is a retired employee of Hot Spring County Memorial Hospital.

The Delamars, who go by the names “Big Mama” and “PaPa,” are parents of four daughters (their only son is deceased), 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Their children agree that their dad is known for his words of wisdom, encouragement and support for his family and friends. Williams loves animals and gardening and is known for his equestrian expertise — especially quarter and Arabian horses. Each planting season he grows collards, turnips and a variety of other vegetables. He willingly shares them with members of his neighborhood. Maggie is known for her cooking, sewing, canning and helping others in the community. She has also participated in various church areas, such as the Senior Choir, Youth and Stewardess departments.

William and Maggie Delamars have been recognized as one of the oldest members of First Baptist Church and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, respectively, in Malvern, Arkansas. They are still active members of these two congregations and use their gift of servanthood to touch the hearts and lives of others. They also work in the community helping, mentoring and praying for children.

William says prayer has been the key ingredient to sustaining their marriage for seventy years. He is a prayer warrior and prays in his favorite spot: a bench beneath a sprawling tree in his garden — his secret closet. He prays even more now that he has grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Praying consistently for their protection and salvation has become a joyful way of his life. He is also bold in asking others to pray for him. The continued success the Delamars have had in their long marriage can also be attributed to always making joint decisions and asking what the other thinks and feels.

Big Mama and PaPa have a special way of endearing family and friends. Having lived in the same town for years, they enjoy building deep relationships with people and giving to the neighborhoods and community. Investing in the lives of those around them through consistency, longevity and trust have made them pillars in the community. They readily give of their time and stay active through work and volunteering. Not only do the Delamars testify to the goodness of what the Lord has done in their lives, they know and understand how dependent they are on Him, constantly focusing on dependence in Christ for life.

Article copyright © 2008, Focus on the Family.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Rev. Alex Person managed the African-American pastoral outreach at Focus on the Family at the time this article was written. He previously served as an Air Force chaplain for 17 years, as well as a pastor. He and his wife, Tommie, live in Colorado Springs. They are the proud parents of two adult children and the grandparents of two young grandchildren.