Joyce (McElroy) `75 and Fredrick Sams `75
We grew up only six miles from each other, but we didn’t meet until Dr Robert Hess’ “Critical & Creative Thinking” class first thing our freshman year, 1971. We thought more creatively than critically trying to figure out ways to connect amidst our hectic adjustments to college life.
But it didn’t take long to end up together in the Jewish Center pool at a SAC party. A few dates later we first kissed balancing on the old wooden bleachers in the dark at the soccer field. Thankfully our balance back then was better than now or there could have been one less Pioneer love story.
Our “courting career” could be summed up: “I chased her until she caught me.” That cryptic quote deserves an explanation. We dated off and on for the next five years; more off than on. But even when we weren’t dating we were best friends, often consulting with each other on every topic from whom to date to the mysteries of life. Those five years of friendship and romance we helped each other through many highs and lows of life. The friendship of the profs, staff and students of the Malone family undergirded and strengthened us on the trails and trials.
We are still blessing each other and being blessed by so many from those Malone and Alliance Friends Church days nearly 46 years later. Forty four of those were in pastoral ministry, 41 at the same church, loving almost every minute of that. Joyce deferred so many decisions to me all those years, so I felt I should submit to her in the big re-location decision—moving to Columbus to be close to family. We pulled up the roots we had in the Alliance-Canton area for 66 years.
Our 3 children, their spouses and our two grandsons, light up our lives, along with The Light of the world, Jesus John 8:12; 12:32). He should get all the glory and credit for the above because His strong arms carried us through every step, guiding and guarding us.