A story of love, loyalty and overcoming odds

By Corey Poole

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Three years ago when Judy McIntyre’s husband Evans was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease doctors told them he wouldn’t see his 50th wedding anniversary.

However, the couple was given some bonus time together, which made celebrating 50 years even more special. Their daughter Megan Burns of New Hampshire, their oldest son Ken of Houston, Don of Colorado and Marc of Lafayette came in for the party. They haven’t all been together in over two years, according to Megan.

“It was like one big reunion all day long,” said Judy. “It was nice to have the immediate family home all at the same time.”

When planning the party, the McIntyre’s neighbors became involved. For Marilyn and Howard Laramy it started out in the typical fashion: “How can we help?” Marilyn offered to make a Bundt cake for the couple’s celebration, but she couldn’t chose which of her pans to use. Unable to decide, she used them all. A few guests at the party admitted they tried all 15 Bundt cakes. Each one was a different flavor ranging from lemon, red velvet, fudge and vanilla with a caramel sauce. Judy’s favorite was the fig cake, while Evans enjoyed the apple with candied pecans and a cream cheese filling.

Evans is originally from Bastrop and Judy was born in Sparta, Ill. The geology and English education majors met at Northeast Louisiana University, now ULM. Their jobs have taken them all over the state including Lafayette, Slidell, Baton Rouge and Winnfield.

In his career Evans worked throughout the state in the oil industry, environmental geology and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources in the Office of Conservation. Judy taught gifted education and served as the state director for gifted and talented education and on the board for the Louisiana School for the Math, Science and Arts (LSMSA).

The couple spent time in Natchitoches in the 90s while Judy attended Northwestern State University to earn her master’s degree. This is when they came to love Natchitoches. When it was time for Evans to retire, Judy took a position at LSMSA as the director of external affairs.

“Evans told me that I’d followed him all my years and it was my turn to take the lead,” said Judy.

She retired from this position five years ago. They’ve been in Natchitoches now for nine years, living on Sibley Lake.

“We feel blessed to be here,” they shared.

When asked what tips they have for the longevity of their marriage, they said they view their union as a thrice-braided rope involving the husband, the wife and God.

“We’ve faced a lot of challenges through the years, the most stressful being teenagers and demanding careers,” said Judy. “It takes those three strands and a marriage can go through anything.”

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