Falling in love at Camp Gordon Johnston

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 09:58 AM.

 “I dated a local girl first, but later a Tennessee nurse. She was shipped out in August and told Sarah to ‘leave that John Easley alone.’

“My first contact with Sarah was as officer of the day when I walked the long hallways at night. She was the head night nurse for a month. One Saturday afternoon several of us from the hospital went fishing on the pier,” he wrote in an email. “I didn't like putting the worms on the hook and Sarah did that for me. We went back to the nurses’ quarters and visited. I kind of liked being around her. I asked her to go to the officers’ club Saturday night dance.”

That was the beginning of more than 50 years together for the young couple.

Sarah Dale Reed, from the tiny Alabama town of Coatopa , graduated first in her high school class and spent a year at Judson College before transferring to Emory University to earn a nursing degree.

A bright and studious girl, she dated very little before she met John. They became engaged almost immediately.

“We soon learned that we had a lot in common,” he wrote. “We both came from small towns and had a Christian family background. Things moved along fast. We got engaged in August at the Hut (Restaurant) before I left for overseas duty with a general hospital in France . We wrote letters every day during that time we were apart.”

Both religious, they attended chapel together. The night John popped the question, the pair was double dating and John slipped the ring on Sarah’s finger under the table. Sarah later told Penny Warren, the couples’ daughter, the diamond was small but the ring was so heavy she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to lift her hand and she was very surprised to receive it.

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