At Kentwood Extended Care, Liz and Nile Peacher are known as the lovebirds.
Mrs. Peacher moved into the facility about a year ago. The couple had lived in Columbia County for nearly 40 years until the progression of Mrs. Peacher’s Alzheimer’s disease left her husband and children needing extra help caring for her. After about two months, Mr. Peacher moved in down the hall.
“Dad decided to move in because he couldn’t stand to leave her when he visited,” said their daughter, Jo Ann Peacher, who was born on the couple’s first anniversary. They will celebrate 63 years of marriage in May.
Although they can’t live in the same room and must eat their meals separately, they spend the rest of their days together.
“I have to stay with her as long as I can. I said ‘til death do us part,’ ” said Mr. Peacher, 88.
The Peachers met a few years after he returned from World War II. He worked at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., holding several positions including bookstore manager, sports public relations representative and teacher.
“I was teaching a class on marriage and family, and here I was a single man,” Mr. Peacher said.
He also drove a school bus, and one of his passengers was his future wife.
“There was a semi-pro baseball player who was interested in her, too. I had to fight him off,” he said. “We got married right after she graduated from high school.”
He held various jobs during his lifetime. He spent seven years as the city reporter and editor of Clarkesville’s Leaf-Chronicle and worked as a public information officer at Fort Benning before moving to the area in 1968 to work at Fort Gordon. He became a trainer and educator there. He later spent 25 years at Augusta’s Brenau University campus and worked at Georgia Military College.
“I’ve never had a job I didn’t love,” he said.
His daughter said they often run into former students who remember him and are complimentary of the time he taught them. That includes two certified nursing assistants at Kentwood who were his students.
“They take extra special care of him. It’s a blessing,” she said.
As far as keeping love strong enough to last a lifetime, Peacher sums it up simply.
“We love each other,” he said. “I was never the boss; she was never the boss. We were always a team.”