MONROE, La. — Nineteen years ago, a 1936 Dodge coupe carried Ewell and Louise Camp to a party for their 50th wedding anniversary.
On Thursday, both were carried to their final resting place by family and friends in Calhoun, La. After 69 years together, the pair died four days apart. They were 92.
Gloria Lee shared the story of the anniversary party, a surprise concocted by the couple's friends and family, before the funeral. She said the car was the one Ewell courted Louise in decades earlier.
"Everywhere they went, they held hands," Carol Lee Brown, a friend, said. "Mom and Dad were going out to eat with them in the backseat, and Dad nudged mom and said, 'look at that.' She looked, and they were like teenagers, giggling and holding hands in the backseat."
John Paul Rieger led the Camps' Sunday school class for years at First Baptist Church of Calhoun and was a long-time friend.
Before delivering their eulogy on Thursday, he remembered them as a pair with a mutual love and respect that was unparalleled. He said as they battled illness, each worried about the other and how they would take care of one another.
A future alone was unthinkable. When Ewell died on Saturday, friends didn't believe Louise would continue on for very long. She died the day before Ewell's funeral and burial, which also became her final journey.
Larraine Lewis remembers her aunt and uncle as people who were friends to everybody, good neighbors and Godly people. She also said the couple was inseparable in life and are now inseparable in death.
David Lewis said there are not many people who were willing to help anyone, but the Camps were.
The pair met after World War II while Louise attended nursing training at St. Francis. Ewell had served as a Navy Seabee in the war while Louise joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corp. They married on Nov. 15, 1947.
While Ewell worked in heavy equipment repair and as a field technician in the gas industry, Louise worked as a registered nurse for physicians in the Monroe area before becoming a supervisor in area nursing homes and then a state nursing home inspector.
Throughout their married life, the pair lived in a home they built on family land, and it is here they are remembered for their devotion to community, to the many young people they "adopted" and to those they prayed for.
Rieger said in his many conversations with them, the Camps never talked negatively about anyone and were kind and loving people.
"I know without a doubt in my mind, they loved God," Rieger said. "Both of them did. They were prayer warriors. I know they had a straight line to God."
In 1925, Louise and Ewell were born six weeks apart. After 69 years together, their death four days apart seems fitting for family members.
They say it is the way the Camps would have wanted it.
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