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Leaders in love

The love story of our President and First Lady

By Becca Eis | Echo

“I really couldn’t think about anything else. I was pretty smitten with her,” said Lowell, Referring to how he knew he wanted to marry Sherry. (Photograph provided by Sherry Haines)

“I really couldn’t think about anything else. I was pretty smitten with her,” said Lowell, Referring to how he knew he wanted to marry Sherry. (Photograph provided by Sherry Haines)

We all know the typical Taylor love story the awkward first date, the DTR, the eventual proposal, the early marriage but what we might not know is the love story of our President, P. Lowell Haines, and First Lady, Sherry Haines.

Lowell and Sherry first started talking the second semester of her freshman year. Back then, Sherry knew who he was through his band and chats they had while he was working in the student union.

“I just remember it seemed like everybody knew him, and he was very friendly and outgoing but easy to talk to,” Sherry said. “ . . . very warm, comfortable to be around, we had similar interests, and he was just interesting.”

At the end of the spring semester, Lowell asked Sherry if she was returning the next fall, which Sherry found unusual. That summer, between Lowell’s sophomore and junior year, he worked in a factory. This job gave him lots of time to think, which he used to contemplate who he would date the next year.

In the fall, Lowell and Sherry had classes together, which allowed them to see each other often and become better friends. Eventually, each of their roommates started dating each other, and it wasn’t long until they followed suit, despite Sherry previously asking Lowell to take out her roommate.

The next summer, Sherry was working at an amusement park called Cedar Point, and Lowell picked her up one day to go to the beach at Lake Erie. During the car ride, Lowell mentioned he was getting a migraine and asked Sherry to get the aspirin out of the glove compartment.

“So I got the aspirin out and opened it up and dumped it out and the ring fell out, and I remember, I was like, ‘Oh!,’ and I went to give it to him and he said, ‘No that’s for you,’ or something, and then (he) asked me,” Sherry said.

“He’s my best friend, he’s a great dad, and if he’s interested in something he puts his whole heart into it,” said Sherry, when answering what she loved about Lowell. (Photograph provided by Sherry Haines)

“He’s my best friend, he’s a great dad, and if he’s interested in something he puts his whole heart into it,” said Sherry, when answering what she loved about Lowell. (Photograph provided by Sherry Haines)

While the proposal was momentous, Lowell best recalls asking Sherry’s dad beforehand. He gave Lowell and Sherry his blessing, on one condition. As a German engineer who paid for all three of his kids to go to Taylor, his biggest priority was that Sherry finish her education.

Lowell graduated, and he and Sherry got married the following summer. According to Lowell, all the couple owned was a stereo when they got married. They borrowed several items from friends and family, including a bed. In the fall, Sherry began classes again, and Lowell worked maintenance on campus while she finished her degree, just like he had promised her father.

“She’s pretty amazing for having lived with me,” Lowell said. “When she married me, she married a guy with long hair who played guitar and really had no vision of what he was going to do in the future and so . . . she’s been supportive of me throughout all of that.”

In their 42 years of marriage, they have grown together through both good and difficult experiences, from figuring out how to manage the little they had their first year of marriage to making the decision to become Taylor’s President and First Lady.

Some of their most memorable experiences together include traveling to Korea, adopting their daughter, Hannah, and going to Disney World as a family for the first time. They have learned countless lessons about life and also learned more about each other.

“We’ve always tried to honor the Lord in our lives,” Lowell said. “Sometimes we’ve done that better than other times, but He’s been really faithful to us, and so I think we would be remiss not to say that after 42 years that one of the great things about our marriage has been the fact that for 42 years God’s been faithful to us in a lot of ways.”

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