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Kevin and Paula Fox
Kevin and Paula Fox of St. Patrick, MO, will be celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary on February 14th.
Kevin Fox was born on July 23, 1954 at the Keokuk, Iowa hospital. His parents were David ‘Bud’ Fox and Charlotte Cannon, who lived in the Alexandria area.
Kevin went to grade school at the Gravel Hill School outside of St. Patrick, MO. His class only had four students in total.
At the beginning of his 8th grade year, Kevin started school at Clark County, where he later graduated. Kevin continued his education after high school at Southeastern Community College.
Paula Herring was born on December 26, 1954 at the Keokuk, Iowa hospital. Her parents were Eldred ‘Chub’ Herring and Estelle Hopp who lived south of Kahoka.
Paula attended grade school in Ashton, MO. At the beginning of 7th grade, she started school at Clark County, where she later graduated.
The first time Kevin and Paula met was at his mother’s beauty salon.
“My mother was a beautician and Paula was very good friends with my cousin Brenda, and she came down with her one time while they got their haircut. That was our first time meeting. I asked Brenda to ask Paula if she would ride my motorcycle and Paula said no,” Kevin said.
Paula was the one who asked Kevin out on their first date.
“I had to ask him out,” Paula said.
“Back then in school, they had what they called a Kitchen Warming and the tradition was that the girls asked the guys, so I called and asked him.”
“She called me on a Sunday evening, but Brenda called me first and Brenda said, ‘in about an hour, Paula Herring is going to give you a call and ask you to the Kitchen Warming and if you don’t go, I’ll never talk to you again,’” Kevin said.
“So, when Paula called about an hour later, she said, ‘this is Paula Herring, Brenda’s friend,’ and I said, yeah I know Brenda.”
“He did say yes,” Paula laughed.
Paula told Kevin that he had to pick her up at her aunt’s house to take her to the Kitchen Warming.
“I said it all depends on if I pass my driver’s test.” Kevin said. “So, if you want to have pressure on a driver’s test…”
Kevin was worried about passing his driver’s test.
“First of all, if I don’t pass it Brenda won’t talk to me, and if I do pass it then…,” Kevin said.
“He got his driver’s license the day before the Kitchen Warming. I think he got a 99 on his test,” Paula said.
The Kitchen Warming was held in the old gym below the high school in Kahoka and there were many activities to enjoy, including a dance.
Kevin and Paula agree that if it wasn’t for Brenda Cannon, the couple may have never dated each other.
Paula and Kevin started dating when she was a sophomore in high school and Kevin was a junior. Kevin graduated in 1972 and Paula graduated in 1973.
“Her brother was in the military for quite a while and he came back to her high school graduation and he comes over to me and goes ‘just what exactly are your intentions?’ I said, well, you know I love your sister, but we both want to go to school or see what we want to do and then I’ll probably ask her to marry me. He said, ‘well Kevin, that’s great, I was just wondering what you were doing for supper,’” Kevin smiled.
Kevin and Paula dated for five years before they got engaged.
Kevin proposed to Paula in December of 1974.
“He came to my house before I went to work on a Saturday morning and gave me the diamond there,” Paula said.
“I was too scared of her dad to ask him,” Kevin replied.
Kevin purchased the engagement ring at the Lights Jewelry store.
“The Lights store was in the mall and I had to make like two payments on it and I already made one payment,” Kevin said.
Kevin went in to make a payment on the ring, but he changed his mind.
“The lady there goes ‘hey, do you see these rings we got in?’ I went, well, wait a minute, I kind of like that one now. So, because I went to that other ring, I had to make three payments because it was a more expensive ring.”
Kevin and Paula were married on February 14, 1975 at the First Baptist Church in Kahoka, MO.
Reverend Steve Durham officiated the wedding and Reverend Richard Lambert assisted.
Beverly Whitaker, Kathy Frazee, and Dawn Herring stood up with Paula at the wedding. Larry Morehouse, Stanley Pepple, and Ron Wood stood up with Kevin. Paula’s niece, Cindy Herring and Kevin’s niece, Rhonda Fox were the flower girls and the ring bearer was Tod Fox.
The couple had around 50 people attend their wedding and the church ladies provided cake and punch after the ceremony. Kevin and Paula went to the Holiday Inn in Hannibal, MO for their honeymoon.
After they were married, the couple purchased their first house south of Medill, MO and they later moved to Antioch, MO for a while.
“Mom and dad gave us 20 acres and we moved down to the farm until the flood of 1993 when it flooded us out. We’ve been in St. Patrick ever since,” Kevin said.
Kevin and Paula have a daughter named Amanda.
Kevin worked for Steel Casting for 9 years. He also worked for Dean and Holly Wood who owned a gas station. Kevin decided to change jobs and has been in the paper business ever since. Paula worked at the Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri for many years and decided to retire this year.
After 47 years of marriage, the couple have some thoughts about secrets to a long lasting marriage.
“You’ve got to learn to give, because you’ve come from two different households. You have to come to a happy medium between what you learned at your house and what he learned at his house and come up with your own and realize that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Paula said.
“There is no secret. We have the same values and stuff, but like she said we are different people,” Kevin said.
“You have to have things that you like to do together. We don’t do as much as we used to, but we are Civil War reenactors, we are Civil War dancers. We teach dancing and we have for 26 years in South Dakota. We’ve been to Wisconsin and taught and danced at this huge Veteran’s thing and we also danced at the capitol in Jefferson City.”
“We talk about everything and this is my best friend,” Kevin said.
“We like outdoors stuff. We have a small cabin on our farm and just hang out. We are also very active in our church.”
Paula plays the piano at her church and occasionally Kevin fills in to preach.
Kevin gave an example of how the couple deals with each other’s differences.
“I like longer hair and she likes shorter hair, so the shorter her hair gets, the longer my beard gets,” Kevin smiles.
“You’ve got to have fun and I wish there was a secret,” Kevin said.
“It’s not easy,” Paula replied.
The couple will be celebrating 47 years together on February 14th.