By Michelle Ward
Worldwide Marriage Encounter recently awarded Bill and June Jamerson, members of the Fallon church, the “Longest Married Couple State Winners” for the state of Nevada.
Bill learned people skills early on as one member of a family of seven. June had two siblings. Bill and June went to a Seventh-day Adventist church in Michigan together as children; Bill was just a few years ahead of June. Later down the road, the two corresponded by mail while June was going to Broadview Adventist Academy in Illinois and Bill was departing from a base in Nevada to Europe with Patton’s 3rd Army, where he was on the front lines at the Battle of the Bulge as a combat medic.
The lovebirds married on May 25, 1946. If you do the math, you’ll see they’ve been married 74 years! Their first son, Gary, was born on May 25, 1948. Four years and 51 days later, their second son, Dennis, was born. Another four years and 51 days later, their third son, Kevin, was born. All three boys were born on Tuesdays, as was June.
Bill spent many years as a pastor in Sacramento and Orange County. It was important that June be home when her boys got home from school, the same way her mother had been for her. Once the boys were in high school, she began working as an administrative assistant at Glendale Adventist Hospital.
The Jamersons also spent 10 years as missionaries in Peru and Bolivia. Dennis was born in Bolivia. God’s watch care was evident when Kevin was 18 months old and the family was living in Lima. Somehow, little Kevin got out of the house. June asked the maid where he was, but she didn’t know. They found the open door and then an open gate to the road, with no sight of the boy. The driver of a passing car questioned, “Senora, are you alright?” June replied that she was looking for her baby. Immediately, the driver told her to jump in and he would take her to search for the missing child. Fortunately, Kevin had been picked up by a kind woman when she found him in the street. June was so, so grateful!
Bill and June moved to Paradise, California, about 32 years ago. June said it took some adjustment getting used to life in the country, but they grew to love it. The Jamersons had assumed that would be their last home and they would not be moving again. In November 2018, that all changed as an unforgiving fire ravaged their town and their home. As they were evacuating the area, flames threatened both sides of their vehicle. Because of their experience with this fire, June said she has learned that stuff is just stuff and has no real value. Bill shared, “We always need to be ready because we don’t know when something might happen. Have all of your important legal documents in one easy spot so you can quickly grab them if needed.” They fled with nothing in hand.
Passionate about young people, they developed and were involved in many programs to reach them for Christ, including day camps, youth evangelism, VBS, and weeks of prayer. Now well into their 90s, ministry is still their passion and the love of this inspirational couple for God is contagious.
The recognition letter from Worldwide Marriage Encounter states: “A life-long commitment can seem like an impossible dream to many couples who are just starting off their lives together today… [These couples] look to you, a couple who has honored their commitment, nurtured their marriage and loved unconditionally through the peaks and valleys of a lifetime together!”