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Connie Essary Bane
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Birth: unknown
Death: Mar. 7, 2007

Dyersburg State Gazette Newspaper
World record 82nd anniversary missed with death of wife, 99
Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bill and Connie Bane would have shared the world's longest marriage in May had she not departed this world at the couple's Finley home on Wednesday.
She passed away at about 6 p.m., with family members by her bedside.

Dyersburg State Gazette Newspaper
Banes mark 80th anniversary
Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bill and Connie Bane marked their 80th wedding anniversary on May 28.
Could the world's longest married couple be living in Dyer County?
Bill and Connie Bane marked their 80th wedding anniversary on May 28.

That's some four days before England's Percy and Florence Arrowsmith walked down the aisle.

It was seeing a story on CNN about the Arrowsmiths that got the Banes' grandson to thinking about his Moma Connie and Daddy Bill.

An intelligence officer for the military academy at West Point, N.Y., it's Capt. Ben Bane's job to keep up with the latest news.

"I watch TV a lot," he said. "I had it on CNN Headline News and saw a tidbit about [the Arrowsmiths]. I began thinking of my father and his sister passing away in 2003 and they were in the mid-70s and if they were that old then that would make my grandparents married for almost 80 years."

So he called his Moma Connie to find out for sure.

"I called and asked when they were married and her first reply was May 28. I said, 'What year?' and she said 1925," he said. "She laughed a little bit when I told her they were probably the world's longest married couple and said, 'Isn't that something.' She doesn't know what the big fuss is about."

With that knowledge, Ben Bane contacted Guinness Book of World Records two weeks ago.

"I wrote them and said that the record for the longest married couple was [the Arrowsmiths] living in Great Britain with the marriage date of [June 1, 1925] and that my grandparents live in Finley and were married May 28, 1925, which would make them married longer than the [Arrowsmiths]. I asked them to examine their records and get back with me about what they needed," he said.

It will take Guinness four to six weeks to confirm if the Banes are the world's longest married couple.

Until then, the Dyer County couple is content living together the way they have for the last 80 years - taking care of each other one day at a time.

Connie Essary's family moved to the Ayers community, which is above Heloise, from the Jackson area in a covered wagon when she was 12 years old. They didn't live too far from Bill Bane's family.

Born and raised in the bottoms, Mr. Bane spent much of his life in the Ayers area. It was a time, he said, completely different from today.

"Back then, we didn't have nothing but everybody knew each other," he said. "You didn't have to ask for help, it was there."

As youngsters, the two got to know each other through school and by being farming neighbors. But, he said, there was another girl he "kept my eye on" at school. What eventually brought them together was dance.

"I thought he was the one I had my hat for," Mrs. Bane said of when they met. "He was nice looking, had a nice disposition; we had a lot in common. ... I loved to dance and he played in a band. We didn't get to dance too often together but that's what got us together."

They courted for about three years - "It's so long back, it's hard to say," Mrs. Bane said; and then "all of the sudden, we decided to get married," Mr. Bane said.

How he asked her has "been so long ago I don't remember" but he did ask her father first.

"We were all good friends," Mr. Bane said of their families. "I asked and everything was OK with her daddy. I was good friends with her dad before we married and after, too."

It was a Thursday night, May 28, 1925, when a justice of the peace in Heloise performed the ceremony uniting 18-year-old Connie Essary and 19-year-old Bill Bane. Their license, she said, was turned in the next day and bears that date.

They stayed close to their families for the first half of their marriage. Mr. Essary had farmland on the Obion River between Ayers and Heloise. After the wedding, he asked them to come there. "We went the next year and made a crop," Mr. Bane said. They stayed there until they moved into their current home at Big Boy Junction in 1966.

Now at 98 (her) and 99 (him), the Banes have seen their family grow to five generations -- seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

But it hasn't been without its heartaches.

They lost a grandson at age 19. Their youngest child, Charles Freeman Bane, died in February 2003 at 75 and seven months later, their eldest child, Margie Idell Bane Ennis, died in September at 77.

"When our children died, we wondered why, especially then, the Lord would keep us here for," Mrs. Bane said.

A retired sales clerk with Payless Shoe Source, "she was a darling person; everyone loved her. He was precious to us," Mrs. Bane said of their only two children.

Charles F. Bane, named after his father, was a retired chief investigator for the Dyer County Sheriff's Department and a retired chief warrant officer in the Army and Navy who served for 22 1/2 years.

"He always wanted to help his daddy farm," Mr. Bane said. "He started and just piddled around with me for a couple of years before I let him take the lead and find out what farming was."

Mr. Bane retired from farming in 1980.

"I worked the hardest work in all the world," he said. "I did all the work you could on the farm - we'd plow with mules and work 12 hours straight with just a break for dinner. I broke land for $1 a day. Nobody had enough money then to do a lot with but everybody got paid one way or another. There were times when we didn't know where the next meal was coming from. We didn't have all the opportunities they have now but we had neighbors who took care of each other and didn't expect anything out of it.

"She did her part on the farm, helping the boys do this and that," he added, pointing at his wife, who after her children started school worked at Miss Gurley's rest home, at the canning factory and in the kitchen of the hospital.

"You take a child now and put him in a situation like that and he'd think he'd not do it, but he could," Mrs. Bane said of their childhood.

Mr. Bane said when they were growing up, "Western Dyer County down to the Mississippi River - Booth's Point to Ayers to Heloise to Chic - was thick with houses, all of that land was all big farm. We were all friends. It was a peaceful, hard life but everybody enjoyed every bit of it. We knew everybody and loved each other. We had a country doctor who lived in Finley and took that whole route either on mule back or with mule and buggy. There'd be times he'd get here and his feet would be frozen to the stirrups.

"That's the way we were raised until all this change. When this change came, it was a mystery."

As he grew older, Mr. Bane, who throughout his life led singing at different churches and was a deacon, read and kept up with the world's happenings. He remembers coming across an article in the Commercial Appeal that said, "the world rotates round and round and round and round," he said. "I read time would change in the world and the world would shift 10 percent."

After reading that, he "got into religion, read up on the Bible, read up on prophecy and what to look for. ... When the time came, I didn't understand how people could be so different, how they could change that fast in their way of living. Then I thought about [Jesus telling the disciples] there'd come a time when [people would] not have fellowship, not show respect, there'd be murders, parents wouldn't care about their children - all of this going on. It described this generation that's living now."

The Banes, who renewed their vows on their 50th anniversary at Southside Baptist Church, aren't the first Dyer County couple who have stood marriage's test of time. Among those who have been married 60 years or more over the last seven years:

It's because of where they came from, the Banes have stayed together for so long.

"We've been tested by what's happened" in their own lives and the world around them, Mr. Bane said. "We've been through it all. We were tested through the best and worst and got through all of it and not separated yet. It prepared us and helped us stay together. I give all the credit to God. The only reason I'm near 100 and she's 98 is because we let God take care of it."

They also got through their personal hard times. "We didn't just quit," Mr. Bane said. "If we hadn't loved each other, we wouldn't be together. You love each other, understand life has hard points and live together through it."

He also credits their long life to their parents, both of whom were from Dyer County. His dad lived to be 97; his mom died of cancer at 50. Her mom died at 75 and her dad lived to be 94.

"When I had my second pacemaker put in, I told someone the recipe for a good life is hard work and a clean life," Mrs. Bane said.

For a long life, she advised her great-grandchild last year to get married on the 28th of the month. They married on the Banes' anniversary.

"To have a good marriage, you keep your mind on each other," she said. "Every day has its ups and downs. We just faced it, taking it one day at a time. We love each other. We had a good life together. I'm thankful we're still together and able to keep house."

Son's Obituary
Dyersburg State Gazette Newspaper
Charles F. Bane
Monday, March 3, 2003

Charles F. Bane, 75, of Dyersburg, died Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003 at his residence.
He was a retired chief investigator for the Dyer County Sheriff's Department, a member of the Northwest Tennessee Retired Law Enforcement Officers Association, retired chief warrant officer in the Army and Navy, received the silver star and bronze star medals, served in Vietnam and Korea and a was Baptist. Services were at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Dyersburg Funeral Home. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery.

Daughter's Obituary
Dyersburg State Gazette Newspaper
Margie Bane Ennis
Thursday, October 2, 2003

Margie Bane Ennis, 77, of Dyersburg, died Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
She was a retired sales clerk for Payless Shoe Store and a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Hillcrest Baptist Church with the Rev. Lynn King officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.
The family will receive visitors at 5:30-8 p.m. today at Dyersburg Funeral Home.

Will add more later

Created by: Sis
Record added: Apr 07, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25797385

- Irene LaCombe
 Added: Apr. 13, 2008
I'm sorry, YOU missed YOUR anniversary. One day You and Mr. Bane, will have the ultimate anniversary.God Bless YOU, Your Family and Loved Ones.
- Sis
 Added: Apr. 7, 2008

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