Love, faith and commitment are three things that Lois and S.D. Hacker of Sage said are key points to a successful and long-lasting marriage.
The two had been married for 59 years on Dec. 25, 2012. Their love began at a young age, and they still giggle and joke around with each other like they did when they were in high school.
S.D. said he met Lois on a trip when they were high school students in Berryville. Lois was friends with another girl in S.D.’s class who was on the trip. Their class went to tour a cave, and after returning to Berryville, S.D.’s pickup had a flat tire.
“[The other girl] had a curfew at 10 [p.m.], so she had to get home,” S.D. said. “Lois decided she would stay and help me fix that flat.”
Lois told S.D. that she knew how to fix a flat tire because her father had a service station, but later admitted she “didn’t know a thing about it.”
“When I started to air the tire up, it blew out and blew sand in my eyes,” S.D. said. “So I got the wheel off, I put the other one on, and as I was taking [Lois] home, I asked her what she had planned for Saturday.”
S.D. said when he met Lois, he fell for her head over heels.
“There was no pretend to her,” S.D. said. “She had convictions and she was honest and truthful.”
That was in the fall of 1951, and two years later, S.D. and Lois were married on Dec. 25, 1953, before they graduated from high school. He was 19 years old, and she was 17.
S.D. said he couldn’t remember exactly how he proposed to Lois, but he said he probably begged her to marry him for a year.
“He probably promised me the moon, and it’s still coming,” Lois said with a smile.
After graduating from high school in 1954, the couple moved from Berryville to Arkadelphia to begin school at Ouachita Baptist College, now Ouachita Baptist University. S.D. said they packed up everything they had into a pickup and still had room to spare.
S.D. was ordained to the gospel ministry in April 1955 and went on to become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Alpena, while Lois taught piano lessons in the community.
He started a mission in Osage and left Alpena in 1962. The Hackers then went to Flippin, where S.D. pastored the First Baptist Church until Jan. 1, 1964.
He was then asked to be an association missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention, where he stayed until Jan. 1, 1970.
“The Independence Baptist Association of Batesville called, and I went there and was their director of missions,” S.D. said.
The Hackers stayed in Batesville until 1982, then moved to Northville Baptist Church in Harrison. S.D. was the pastor of that church until 1990, and the Hackers stayed in Harrison until 1992. The couple then moved to Sage, where they have been ever since.
“I told some folks the other day that my next move is to move to heaven,” S.D. said.
The Hackers have three children, Sherry, Vicky and David; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
The road to a marriage that lasts this long doesn’t come without bumps along the way.
“We respect each other, not that we never have a cross word. There’s some of those,” Lois said. “We do have differences of opinion.”
S.D. and Lois said the key to having a successful marriage is to have Jesus at the center of it all.
“If he’s at the center, it’s going to make it,” Lois said.
When S.D. is out of town for a meeting, he never worries about what could happen.
“We know that [we] are going to do things that will honor and please the other, and it’s always been that way,” S.D. said.
S.D. said he is the longest-serving Baptist associational missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention in the state of Arkansas. He has done 38 years of work for the association. He currently works with the Rocky Bayou Baptist Association in Franklin.
Lois is still working as well, giving piano lessons two days a week in her home. Along with work, she and S.D. have other things to keep them busy.
“Playing with grandkids and great-grandkids — that keeps us busy,” Lois said. “[We’re always] going to ballgames and band concerts and everything like that.”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.