J.C. and Dorothy Dearing recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary in grand style.
The Dearings’ four children, James, John, Rita and Carol, teamed up to purchase a car, a 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe 2-door sedan. The car had been sitting in storage, so necessary restoration work had to be done to have the car ready for last weekend’s anniversary.
John found the car while on a service call for the family business, Dearing Heating and Air.
“Henry and Pat Baird had bought the car from Pat’s brother, Bill Carter, from Washington County, who bought it new in 1953,” James Dearing said. “The car was primed and they were going to fix it up, but they put it in the garage and it stayed there from 1985 until earlier this year.”
James said that the family had the idea to restore the car for J.C. and Dorothy’s anniversary eight months ago.
“We worked a lot of late nights and weekends,” James said. “Rita and Carol worked on the seats and carpeting while we did the other work.”
The cost of a 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Style 9 was $1,614.
At that time, Harry S. Truman was president of the United States, Republican Dwight Eisenhower would win the presidency over Adlai Stevenson in the first of two elections and the Dearings would marry and start a life together.
“They went to the Justice of the Peace to be married since he was in the U.S. Army,” James said. “
Carol Jenkins said that their parents have been special parents throughout their lives.
“They are the perfect example of a Christian marriage,” Carol said. “We were raised with Godly values. One of my brothers said that they were the real Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Many who know them look up to them.”
Carol said that the Dearings’ marriage has been a “one in a million” marriage.
“They’re still crazy about each other and it shows,” Carol said.
The Dearing family’s influence in Hamblen County goes back generations. L.B. Dearing, J.C.’s father, owned a dairy farm near the present West Industrial Park. The family owned close to 500 acres at one time. Dearing Road in the West Industrial Park is now the site of a soccer field. After joining the Army at age 16, he returned to Morristown to work for the Southern Railroad. According to Carol, when Dorothy was living in Alpha, she saw J.C. get off the train while wearing his uniform and said that he was the man she was going to marry.
“Opal Fielder was at her house near the bus stop and introduced the two to each other,” Carol said.
J.C. became a journeyman electrician and the family moved north to West Virginia, New York and New Jersey for many years. The Dearings moved back to Morristown in 1967 and opened Dearing Heating and Cooling, which survives today with the brothers running the business.
Born in Morristown, Dorothy also lived in White Pine and Alpha when she met J.C. After returning to Morristown, she helped J.C. run the family business.
J.C. and Dorothy moved to Alabama for about 10 years. Dorothy worked for the State of Alabama until she retired and the Dearings came back to the Lakeway Area in 1998. The Dearings now reside in Jefferson City. J.C. did small electrical jobs up until two years ago before retiring at 89. The Dearings are members of First Baptist Church of Morristown.
When the anniversary dinner was held last weekend, all six members of the family rode to Aubrey’s on Merchants Greene Boulevard in the 1952 Chevrolet.
“Our whole family was able to ride in the car,” James said. “In 1952, seat belts or turn signals weren’t required.”
In spite of the windshield wipers not working or the heat working, neither was needed as it was a perfect evening for the dinner.
“They were tickled to death,” James said. “Dad said that it brought back memories.”