Larry Cavender / Photo
“We always put each other first,” Mr. Quinton said of their successful - and long - marriage.
By Larry Cavender
"There's a lot of folks with cameras taking pictures here." That was the observation made by Jim Quinton as he settled into a seat at a special event Monday at the Grandview Health Center nursing home in Jasper. There was a good reason for all the cameras, because friends and family were trying to record for posterity a very special occasion - the 70th wedding anniversary for Jim and his wife, Annette.
On August 12th, 1949, Jim and Annette Quinton were united as husband and wife, and now, seven decades later, it is obvious the couple is still very much in love. The anniversary celebration, which was planned by Sounya Stokes, the activities director for Grandview, was a complete surprise for the Quintons. Once they entered the room, which was festooned with balloons and a banner that said "She said 'Yes'!", they were greeted by several family members and friends including many fellow residents of the nursing home.
A native of Pickens County, Jim Quinton, at the age of 10, moved with his family to Maryville, Tenn. in the latter years of the Great Depression. His father was seeking employment there, but seven years later the family returned to Pickens County. Jim, as a young man of 17 years, then moved to the Atlanta area seeking employment himself in the years immediately following World War II. It was there he met his future bride on a blind date.
When the couple was asked if it was a whirlwind courtship, Annette spoke up and declared, "It was 14 months," vividly remembering those months as if it were yesterday. Jim was 20 and Annette was 17 when they were united in marriage. When responding to the question of whether Jim was a good husband, she replied, "He was about as nice as you could ever hope for."
Jim was then asked the inevitable question, "To what would you attribute the longevity of your marriage?" to which he immediately replied, "We always put each other first." He also said about he and his wife’s relationship that any couple will have cross words, and then added, "If a man tells you he never has cross words with his wife, he's either a liar or the most hen-pecked husband in the world."
The Quintons continued to live in the Atlanta area where Jim eventually established his own successful steel construction business. In 1993, Jim and Annette returned to Jim's native Pickens County, and for two years, he commuted to and from the Atlanta area where he continued operating his business. Jim officially retired in 1995 and the Quintons have lived continuously in Pickens ever since. However, Jim wasn't completely ready for retirement, so he began a second career as a bailiff at the Pickens County Courthouse where he worked for 18 more years.
Jim and Annette have three children, the oldest is their son Mike, along with two daughters, Lynn and Debbie. Obviously very proud of his family, Jim said, "We also have seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, and none of them are in prison or rehab, so I think we did a pretty good job."
Their love for each other has never waned, as was evident when, at the event, Annette fed Jim a piece of cake. He looked adoringly at his wife and said, "It's almost as sweet as you are." The Quintons, obviously, are still very much in love even after all these years.