Column: Children of Fairfield couple married 50 years share their story

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

Ed and Joyce Carr, of Fairfield, let me be the first to publicly wish you a happy 50th anniversary.

To quote Billy Crystal’s portrayal of Fernando Lamas, “You look mahvelous!”

Officially, the Carrs anniversary is Thursday, and 50 years of anything, let alone marriage, is quite an accomplishment.

Their kids, Kevin Carr, of Indianapolis, and Amanda Lapid, of Fairfield, didn’t know what to get their parents for this milestone anniversary because, in the words of Kevin, “What do you get people who are satisfied in life? They have everything they want; they’re utterly content.”

Family can do that.

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

When asking Kevin and Amanda the secret to a 50-year marriage, they first said faith and religion. The Carrs have been members at the Fairfield Church of Christ since the early 1980s, and Amanda and her family ― husband Raymond and children Brandy, Elena, and Olivia.

“I would say God, number one, is the secret to their success,” Amanda said. “They’re the ultimate example of what God can do for a marriage and a family.”

Kevin added, “They both share a faith that’s marked them and led them through some of life’s biggest challenges, and they’ve faced it all, really, together, which has been awesome to see.”

While they are full of the important things in life, the Carrs would not claim to have been perfect in life, but Kevin said they were never wanting, physically or emotionally.

Like the start of many great marriages, Ed and Joyce were introduced by a friend.

The Carrs have lived in Fairfield since they were married in 1973. Ed moved to the city with his parents when he was 4, and Joyce is a native Hamiltonian. They graduated from high school in the 1960s. Ed from Fairfield and Joyce from Garfield.

Ed served in the Navy for four years as an aircraft electrician and mechanic and worked first at Simplex Time Recorder and then NuTone before retiring several years ago. Joyce worked at Mosler before having her kids, then spent 25 years at Fairfield High School as the athletic department secretary.

Families often pass down traditions and have shared interests. For the Carrs, that’s the love of “Saturday Night Live” and really funny movies, like “National Lampoon’s Vacation” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

Credit: Provided/Carr Family

And Amanda has passed that love to her family, and Kevin to his wife, Kelly, and son, Owen.

They often quote many classic 1980s or 1990s comedic movies or SNL skit.

But they’re not just laughing at the screen. They can often laugh at themselves, like the time Ed was sliding out of a booth at Chi Chi’s in Sharonville, but the seat had ended before he was done scooching and, as Kevin said, “fell flat on the ground.”

Joyce probably had the biggest laugh, Kevin said, recalling the childhood memory. His exact words were “hysterical laughter.”

“Dad’s a pretty good sport about all that stuff. He just laughs and shakes it off,” Kevin said. “Laughter is always a big thing.”

This is what family is all about. Traditions and memories. Sharing the same story and laughing just as loud with every rendition year after year. It’s different for each family. Some may be as simple as a game night or a bedtime story. Others may be bigger, like an annual trek to Myrtle Beach or Disney World.

Or, in the case of the Carrs and Lapids, baking cookies in the time after Thanksgiving and before of Christmas. Everyone has a job (which is emblazoned on their custom apron), and as the grandkids grew up, they graduated from bouncy chairs to a job in the annual Carr-Lapid Cookie Bake.

Many place their parents on a pedestal and want to try to live up to the legacy and example they set. That’s how Kevin and Amanda feel.

And just being there is an important part of that feeling, because they are “someone to run to every time we have issues or any challenges,” Amanda said. Or a hug. She said Ed has great hugs.

“Nothing’s going to be perfect, there’s going to be bumps, but you stick it out,” said Kevin. “There’s beauty on the other side of the struggle.”

And that’s what Ed and Joyce have done, and what Kevin and Amanda are working toward.

In closing, to paraphrase another comedic favorite, Wayne and Garth of “Wayne’s World,” “Party on, Ed! Party on, Joyce!”

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