The Dart: Couple finds love later in life

Published 12:01 am Monday, February 18, 2019


The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — You’re never too old to fall in love.

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Just ask one Natchez couple, Jerry Beach, 80, and Carol Bates, 76, who sparked up a relationship recently in their sunset years after both of their spouses died.

When The Dart landed on South Union Street on Friday afternoon, Bates was sitting outside on her front porch with Beach.

The couple started dating six months ago, Beach said, after meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Bates said she joined the church’s bridge group, so she could get to know Beach better.

“Our first date was wonderful,” Bates said. “He asked me after church to go to the Carriage House.”

Bates said her infatuation with Beach took her by surprise.

“I never dreamed of being in love again at age 76,” Bates said. “We couldn’t be more in love.”

Bates, a Natchez native said she moved back to Natchez in July 2017 from Oxford, where she had lived and worked as a teacher until her husband, Tom, died.

Beach, a native of Maryland grew up in Clinton and went to Mississippi State University before moving to Natchez to work as an industrial engineer for Armstrong Tire and Rubber Co. from which he retired after 46 years.

Bates and Beach met at church and since then they have become good friends, Bates said.

In their spare time, Bates said she and Beach like to walk around the neighborhood or even down along the riverfront.

“We usually walk at least a mile, and usually it depends on the weather,” Bates said.

The couple walk together at least three times a week, Bates said, and in the spring and summer when the weather is warmer, they walk more.

Bates said she and Beach would like to travel the world and see the sights together. Marriage is also in the works, Bates said.

“We really enjoy being with each other,” Bates said, “and we love each other. There’s no reason we shouldn’t.”