Family Reunon 2: ‘Love at second sight’

Love stories grow in Wray family
Jul. 19, 2013 @ 04:56 PM

This is a love story inspired by another love story — the story of Harold Luther and Sarah Wray falling in love and the moment when Sarah's brother Richard Wray said farewell to his bride before he left for the Korean War.

Harold and Sarah first met when he enrolled at Fair Grove School in 1943. Sarah doesn't remember Harold, but Harold remembers Sarah.

Harold moved to Randolph County, where he lived until 1950. When he returned to Fair Grove, Sarah finally noticed him — the cutest fellow she had ever seen with pretty wavy hair and a winsome smile.

He mentioned to Sarah that they had seen each other before and he had a yearbook to prove it. Perhaps it was that moment, that perseverance, that caught her attention. For Sarah, it was "love at second sight."

Harold was a bit hesitant to ask for a date, but found the courage during a junior play practice after Sarah asked him to take her home. She would later learn she was the first of three girls to ask Harold for the favor.

After dating two years and already thinking about marriage, a moment led them to take their vows.

Harold and Sarah went with her brother Richard Wray and his bride Earlene to the airport, where Richard would leave for Korea. They witnessed the young couple clinging to each other, crying and hugging and kissing. 

What if Harold and Sarah faced such a separation?

In a week's time, they planned their wedding.  The Rev. Oscar Hartman of Liberty Baptist Church, where the couple have attended their entire married life, was available for the ceremony. Sarah's sisters, Ruby (Wray) Canada and Margaret (Wray) Cox, gathered wildflowers to decorate the church.

Money was pooled for a wedding cake. The ceremony was held Saturday, June 27, 1953.  The couple honeymooned in the mountains of North Carolina.

At the time of their marriage, Harold was working at Thomasville Furniture Industries and Sarah was working at Sears Catalog Sales Building in Greensboro.  Harold went on to various jobs, the longest period of time at Catalin Corp., now Southern Resin. The job he liked the most was delivering oil for Jack Welborn, owner of Fair Grove Oil. Even now, in stores and restaurants, he enjoys people coming to him and saying, "You used to be my oil man."

Sarah's career started as secretary with Willis Hooper, a lawyer. She served with the state for 24 years, first as a secretary with the N.C.  Highway Patrol for 10 years, followed by six years as a driver's license examiner and eight years as deputy clerk for Clerk of Superior Court in High Point. She retired from the office of J. W. Clontz, a lawyer.

The couple have two sons, Stanley Luther and Arnold Luther; a daughter-in-law Sophia Luther; three grandchildren, Erica Ward, Tiffany Luther and Jason Luther; and a great-grandson, Bryson Ward.

There are not many weeks that go by that one doesn't say to the other, "I'm glad we're together."

A June 29 reception at Liberty Baptist Church was a celebration of love. Sadly, Richard's bride passed in January 2012, but yet again Harold and Sarah were inspired by their love.

When Richard and Earlene held their last anniversary celebration, the couple requested food donations for Fair Grove Resource Center.

Following this inspiration of love, Harold and Sarah did the same. And so, the love story continues — inspired by love and living by faith.

Community News Editor Kathy Stuart is the niece of Sarah and Harold Luther and Richard and Earlene Wray. Sarah contributed to the writing of this story.