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Nursing home couple ties knot

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DIANA BUCKLEY
Ellis County Press
FERRIS - Love is alive at the Ferris Nursing Care Center where Frannie Nolen, 60, and Bill George, 82 entered into holy matrimony on Valentine's Day after a short courtship.

The couple met only a few months ago, when George came to live at the care center.

'They enjoy talking to each other,' said Activities Director Jean Edwards.

'They both like to play cards. They formed a friendship.'

George said the one thing they most enjoy doing together is smoking. 'My son wanted me to quit,' he said. 'But I enjoy smoking.'

Edwards was philosophical about the smoking. 'I think we're the only nursing center that allows them to smoke,' she said. 'But there is so little left for some of them to enjoy.' 

Edwards said the couple decided to get married so they could room together at the care center.

'They'll be moving into a room,' she said. 'We called it the honeymoon suite.'

George said he started out in the coal mines at the age of 15. 'I worked in the coal mine five years,' he said. 'Then I went into the service.'

A World War II veteran, George said he served six years as a member of the military police in the South Pacific. He has three sons and numerous grandchildren.

After his stint in the service, George became a member of the operating engineers union, where he spent 30 years.

Nolen, scarcely able to speak because of the after-effects of a debilitating stroke, indicated she worked at Adco for a short time, but spent most of her life as a homemaker.

With a twinkle in her eye and a heartwarming smile, Nolen doesn't need words to make friends. 'She'll fight for me,' said George, as Nolen reached over to squeeze his hand.

Nolen also has three sons.

The community rallied behind the couple when the wedding plans were announced. Ferris Junior High School students provided special music, including singing and keyboard. Students Paul Perez, Jorita Mack and Vincent Raila acted as Best Man, Maid of Honor, and Ring Bearer in the service.

Brother Gary Clark of the First Baptist Church in Fort Worth officiated.

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