God, Laughter And A Little Meanness: Local Couple Celebrates 77th Anniversary

November 15, 2020

Travis and Dorothy Baggett of Atmore recently celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary.

MawMaw, as she is called by her children and great-grandchildren, said it has been a long time — even a lifetime for some perhaps.

From Castleberry, Alabama, Travis is a direct descendant of Jesse Baggett, the original founder of Castleberry. He has outlived all 11 of his siblings. At 19, he met Dorothy Fussell of Evergreen, who had just turned 17 that summer.

“I had just served in World War II as a Navy fireman, and I had made it home. Between her looks and her cooking, she had me,” Travis (PawPaw) admitted. The couple married later that year after only two dates.

“Back then there wasn’t any of this going out on a date too much,” MawMaw said. “If you enjoyed somebody’s company, you just held on to that, and obviously, I guess we have just held on to each other. I wouldn’t know how to be single if I had to.”

The 90-lb. great- grandmother is known throughout the community for baking coconut cakes and pecan pies. “Cooking is my therapy. It’s all I know.”

PawPaw doesn’t complain.

“In all of our 77 years together, he has never eaten leftovers,” she added. MawMaw is getting ready to host the family Thanksgiving with her mouth-watering turkey and dressing — all made from scratch. Her¬†family certainly agrees that she has the touch when it comes to the kitchen.

She has six brothers and six sisters. All are deceased except one, Sarah, who also married a Baggett.

“Travis and I have been through a lot of things,” MawMaw often reminds her grandchildren. “Some of them have been wonderful, and a lot have been so sad that you wonder what God is up to.”

Her family knows that she is referring to the loss of their oldest son, Steve, who was home from the Marines when his death occurred almost 50 years ago.

Travis, a retired Alabama Department of Corrections officer, credits Dorothy’s cooking for keeping him around this long.

“I look back now and know that she has worked hard, raising our boys and me too, always having every little thing done. I had the easy job compared to her at home.”

The couple also says that God, laughter and “a little meanness” is the reason they have had a long-lasting marriage. “Sometimes I have wanted to give up, but family is too important. I believe in¬†commitment. I believe in staying the course,” MawMaw said with a smile.

The Baggetts can’t really get out and go as they once did. After all, PawPaw gave up his driver’s license when he turned 94, but he can still enjoy a good-natured joke and a nice hot meal any day — as long as MawMaw is right there with him and it’s her cookin’ he is eating, especially ham hock and rice.

The Baggetts have four sons: Steve (deceased); Donnie; Ronnie (Margaret); and Garry (Vicki). Their grandchildren are Steven, Krystal, Alex (Kaylee), Melissa, Corry and Lexxi. They also have five great-grandchildren.


16 Responses to “God, Laughter And A Little Meanness: Local Couple Celebrates 77th Anniversary”

  1. Brandy Willis on November 22nd, 2020 11:16 pm


  2. Mary Mattheiss on November 16th, 2020 11:26 am

    What a wonderful tribute to a couple who has managed to stand strong and celebrate 77 years of marriage. They sound like a wonderful couple. May God continue to bless them .

  3. Douglas Godwin on November 15th, 2020 11:14 pm

    Congratulations on 77 years of marriage. God has truly blessed this great couple.

  4. Alan on November 15th, 2020 7:23 pm

    Travis, you are one lucky man. Congratulations on 77 years of marriage.

  5. tg on November 15th, 2020 2:59 pm

    How to live like this needs to be taught in school. Real Love.

  6. Jacqueline on November 15th, 2020 1:20 pm

    This was a very encouraging and down to earth story to read.
    Thank you for sharing it.
    What an inspiration!

  7. Moral patriot on November 15th, 2020 1:06 pm

    Way to go guys
    You show all us youngsters what love really is.
    Congrats, Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas
    And another happy new year to # 78.

  8. Elizabeth Duncan on November 15th, 2020 10:34 am

    What a wonderful read. Congratulations. Your story is a blessing. Many need to read this, and know what God intended marriage to be. Thank you for your good example.

  9. Shay Lo on November 15th, 2020 9:47 am

    What a beautiful couple!

  10. sam on November 15th, 2020 9:33 am

    we all should be so lucky. congrats!

  11. Willene & Preston Bryan on November 15th, 2020 9:05 am

    How beautiful and sweet. Happy Anniversary!

  12. DLo on November 15th, 2020 8:15 am

    With everything that is going on in this world right now, this is the story I needed, thanks to the Baggetts for sharing your lives with us a little, and thanks William for taking the time to do this story.

  13. AB on November 15th, 2020 7:22 am

    Now this is a real love story! Marriage is hard. Life is hard. Marriage is a commitment to stay together. Love this.

  14. KK on November 15th, 2020 7:17 am

    What a beautiful love story.

  15. Jeannie on November 15th, 2020 6:26 am

    Its nice to see a couple love each other for better or worse, till death us do part.
    People don’t take these vows seriously anymore.
    Happy Anniversary!

  16. Mary on November 15th, 2020 4:11 am

    Congratulations! You two show us all just exactly what commitment means!

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