Stories from the past - Surprise Shower for Frank and Mary Booher

shared photo

Frank and Mary Booher were photographed not long after their marriage.

by Gypsy Girl

(Emily Sells)

Surprise Shower for Frank and Mary Booher

In the Friday, November 29, 1957 issue of the Livingston Enterprise, an article was included that reads: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Booher Given Surprise Shower. Here is what follows:

“Mr. and Mrs. Frank Booher had quite a surprise and pleasant experience when they were given a surprise miscellaneous wedding shower on last Thursday evening, November 21, in the auditorium of the VFW building.

“Frank is one of the evening paper carriers for the Nashville Banner here and has given loyal faithful service to those he serves on his route.

“He was married recently to the former Miss Mary Frances Farmer.

“As a token of appreciation the following served as hostesses and hosts in arranging the happy and joyful affair: Mr. and Mrs. E.K. (Kuell) Stephens; Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Larry Copeland; Mr. and Mrs. Elmo Swallows; and Mr. and Mrs. Raleigh Needham.

“Two of the hosts, Mr. Needham and Mr. Stephens, arrived with the honorees which were greeted upon entering with a chorus of ‘surprise! surprise! surprise! from the guests assembled for the occasion. The happy couple was led to a long table, beautiful to behold, weighted down with artistically wrapped wedding gifts which they had the happy privilege of opening and sharing their joy with their friends.

“Pictures were made all during the occasion. Tempting refreshments were served by the hostesses and hosts, and all wished them many years of happiness in their future together.”

As Mary and I looked back at the early days of her marriage to Frank on October 4, 1957, she told me she was only 15 when they married.

She and Frank had lockers near each other the year they met at Livingston Academy. With the help of Carol (Zachary) Gilpatrick, Mary and Frank got to know each other and began dating when Mary was a freshman. The wedding took place in Byrdstown after the young couple slipped off without letting anyone know of their plans.

Mary, who is the daughter of the late Delford Farmer and Alva Lee (Holman) Farmer, was the second of eight children whose names were Shirley; Stella; Donald; Gary; Ralph; Kathy; and Debra. The Farmer family made their home in the Holly Springs community.

Frank’s parents were Gordon Booher and Amelia (Hill) Booher. The Booher family lived in the Willow Grove Community prior to the construction of Dale Hollow Dam but moved to Livingston when work on the dam began.

Frank has two brothers, Bud and Tommy. Frank was living with his grandmother, Mary Ellen Hill, in Livingston at the time he and Mary got married.

Frank’s mechanical skills began when he was still quite young, and those skills proved very useful when he developed interest in motorcycles during his youth. If he wasn’t out riding in his spare time, he could probably be found working on whatever bike he might own at that particular time in his life.

It wasn’t long until Frank also took an interest in airplanes, and after taking lessons from Pat Patterson, Frank got his pilot license around the age of 30. Over the course of the years, Frank has owned several planes. Going up in the plane with Frank was something Mary said she always enjoyed.

As the years went by, two children were added to the Booher family, a daughter, Tammy, and a son, Greg. Son Greg followed in his father’s footsteps as far as having an interest in airplanes goes. From a very early age, he began flying. After working at the Livingston Airport for a number of years, Greg later became an airplane/helicopter mechanic/pilot in Arkansas.

Mary recalled how, on the night of their surprise shower, she and Frank were told by Kuell Stephens and Raleigh Needham that they wanted to take them to see a movie. Instead of going to the theater, their destination ended up being the VFW building where the shower was held. Many of the gifts Mary and Frank received that night Mary still has. She also told me that even though she was extremely shy at that time in her life, she has never forgotten the kindness of everyone involved with honoring them with the shower.

Frank, who is still remembered as one of Livingston’s most dedicated paper boys, worked as a security guard at Botany shirt warehouse on the Airport Road in the later years of his life. Sadly, he passed away on April 25, 2005, from a brain tumor diagnosed some 10 months earlier.

Most ladies who once shopped at Nelms Market on East Main in Livingston will remember when Mary worked at a cash register there. Because of her sunny disposition, grocery shopping in those days was always a much more pleasant experience.

Thanks, Mary, for letting us share memories of that surprise event held all those years ago to honor a very special young couple.

Correction: In the story about the death of Euretha Williams published in Overton County News on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, I mistakenly said Billie Mack Williams was a brother to Kermit Williams. That was incorrect. That information should have said Billie Mack Williams’ father, Cosby, was a brother to Kermit Williams who once lived and owned property on Linder Mountain Road just outside of Livingston. Billie Williams was a brother to Ishamel, Thelma and Robert Williams. I apologize for this oversite.