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Staying together: Local couple eloped 63 years ago

As a young teen, Timothy Mingo did not have the blessing of his now-wife's father

Gigi Tinsley | 7/3/2014, 9 a.m.
Timothy and Catherine Mingo in the limousine on their way to the reception.

When Timothy “Tim” Mingo, 20, the son of George and Marie Mingo saw Catherine Clark, the 17 year old daughter of Daisy and Fred Clark, for the first time “it was love at first sight."

The couple met in 1946 at Homerville Elementary and Senior High School in Homerville, GA., located exactly 84 miles from the center of 15 major cities, including Thomasville, GA, Lake City and Jacksonville, FL.

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Catherine and Timothy Mingo after their 50th wedding anniversary ceremony.

After meeting at school and falling in love with each other in 1951, Tim went to talk with Mr. Fred to ask for Catherine’s hand in marriage. Mr. Fred said no.

On Jan. 9, 1951 Tim and Catherine eloped. They went over to Pearson, GA and were married.

Several months after getting married, Tim was drafted into the Army and had to leave his new bride with her parents. She lived with them until he returned from active duty, two years later.

In 1962, Timothy and Catherine moved to Miami to create a better life for their family. After their arrival the family settled in and Catherine joined Friendship Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor James Emanuel Jenkins.

In 1971 the couple purchased a beautiful home in Carol City. Catherine immediately moved her membership to Greater New Bethel Baptist Church where Dr. David G. Horton was and is the pastor.

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Catherine and Timothy Mingo, Sr.

To this union nine children, including twin girls, were born: Shirley McCullough, Timothy, Jr., Connie Synder, Cathy, Cynthia Denise Powell, Bridget Bernice Chew, Deloris Delfreda, Roddery Kenneth and, Alfonso Lorenzo Mingo. They have 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

In 1992, Timothy joined Greater New Bethel Baptist Church to worship with his wife and children.

On January 12, 2002 Timothy and Catherine renewed their vows after 50 years of marriage at Greater New Bethel Baptist Church. Their Pastor Horton preformed the ceremony.

All of the children, grandchildren and great grand’s were apart of the wedding party. “Since I never had the wedding I always dreamed about, my 50th anniversary ceremony was extra special to me,” Catherine said. Her sisters, Estella Delaughter and Cora Fead, were her maids of honor. The reception, held at Les Violin in Hialeah and wedding was directed by Evangelist Ladi G. Jenkins, the niece of Catherine Mingo.

Timothy and Catherine both retired in 1971. Timothy worked at Associate Grocery as a selector and Catherine worked at Publix in the culinary department.

“We thank God for keeping us this long, together and still loving each other,” Tim and Catherine said.

When asked, What advice would you give to couples or those getting married, today they said. “Be true to each other, give each other space, recognize that you are individuals with different personality traits. Support one another and learn to be a great listener.”

Timothy added, “Hold on to the coat.” In other words, “Don’t let go, Remember it’s cheaper to keep her and stay true to your vows.”