Huntsville couple with Jasper ties celebrate 75th anniversary
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 03, 2011 | 2275 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marjorie and Ivey Drewry Jr., pictured here at Christmas, graduated from Walker County High School together in 1933. They celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this month at their home in Huntsville. Photo special to the Eagle
Marjorie and Ivey Drewry Jr., pictured here at Christmas, graduated from Walker County High School together in 1933. They celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this month at their home in Huntsville. Photo special to the Eagle
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Ivey Drewry Jr. remembers Marjorie Stephenson as a “good-looking young lady” in Walker County High School’s Class of 1933.

His opinions haven’t changed.

“We’ve been sweethearts for a long time,” said Drewry, who now lives in Huntsville with his wife of 75 years.

Drewry and Stephenson dated for six years before getting married. When they were 15, Drewry carved their initials into a heart-shaped stone.

Their wedding took place on June 18, 1936, at the Stephenson home on 7th Avenue in Jasper.

Since the minister of their choice was not available, Stephenson’s father found a preacher at the golf course to officiate at the impromptu ceremony.

“We didn’t put on a big show in those days,” Drewry said.

The bride and groom rode with Drewry’s father in his coal truck to Birmingham to tell his mother the news.

Marjorie Drewry said she spent much of her early married life apart from her husband while he first earned a mechanical engineering degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then served in World War II.

Ivey Drewry enlisted after graduating college in 1939 and spent the next 30 years in the Army.

When Drewry was stationed in Germany in 1946 as part of the occupation forces, his wife sailed across the Atlantic with their 5-year-old and 2-year-old children to join him in the dead of winter.

Drewry was unable to meet his family when they arrived because the cold weather had caused a mechanical failure on his car.

Ivey Drewry had a distinguished military career, achieving the rank of colonel by the time he was 28 and brigadier general several years before his retirement.

The Army moved Drewry to Huntsville in 1962 and placed him in command of the Nike Zeus program, which later became the Nike-X and then the Safeguard ballistic missile defense system.

Drewry once had a meeting with Dr. Wernher von Braun and still keeps in touch with Julian Davidson, an Oakman native who also became a pioneer in missile defense.

In 2007, the 10th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference honored Drewry by placing a photo of him on their poster titled, “Past, Present & Future; 1957-2007; 50 Years of Space & Missile Defense.”

The Drewrys, who are both 95 years old, celebrated their 75th anniversary this month with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Huntsville.

“We had hardships, but ours is a true love story,” Marjorie Drewry said.