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Happy 50th Anniversary!

The Story Begins 

James Marion Enlow was born on February 25, 1939 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Taylorville, Illinois. Jim was the first born of Jesse and Opal Enlow. He was named after his Grandpa Enlow whose middle name was also Marion.

Eva Myrtle Baker was born on March 30, 1939 at the home of her father's aunt in New Plymouth, Idaho. Eva already had 4 "big" brothers when she was born, ages 5, 4, 2 1/2, and 1. She was named after both her grandmothers. 

Early Childhood 

When Jim was small he lived in the town of Taylorville where his father was a pastor of a Pentecostal church. Jim liked to visit his grandparents to help on the farm and to go fishing.

From there his family, which consists of 7 sisters and one brother, moved to the country. He attended Oak Street, Memorial, Hewittville, and Stonington grade schools. The family moved back to town where he lived until entering the Air Force in February 1956.

As a little girl, Eva, liked living in the country. Especially, feeding the chickens and the rabbits. (Now she hates how dirty chickens are). When the Baker kids began attending the school there was 5 students and one teacher. Eva and her 4 brothers doubled the student population to 10. The teacher taught all grades. Eva's home and the school were both in very remote locations. Her folks did not have electricity so she studied by the light of oil lamps.

Eva remembers that when they lived in Kansas and her dad would go to town for supplies either her or one of her brothers would get to go along. If it was your turn dad would buy you candy from the penny candy. Another memory she has is her mom making her dresses and some very modest bloomers to match out of flour, sugar, and feed sacks. When the family would go somewhere in the car there would be her mom, dad, and Lee in the front and when the rest of the kids in the backseat would get to bickering her dad would take a swipe with his arm and you better duck.

At the end of her 4th year in 1948 her parents moved from Kansas to Yelm. Her mom and dad had grown weary of the tornadoes and cyclones in Kansas. From 1945 to 1948 Eva had attended 2 schools in Kansas, one in Oregon, and one in Roy, Washington. After moving to Yelm her parents bought a TV. That was really exciting and Eva remembers how they loved to watch the continuing Saturday show of Fury. This time the family took up permanent residence in Yelm.

Air Force and Graduation 1956 

February 1956 Jim left high school and enlisted in the Air Force. It was the first time he had been away from home for any length of time-he was just 17. He was sent to Parks Air Force Base in California for basic training. A few weeks into his training he had surgery for an appendectomy. His next tour of duty was McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington.

June 1956 Eva graduated from Yelm High School where she was Editor of the school paper, played varsity tennis, softball, Honor Society, Photo Club, and Press Club. After high school Eva went to work for the State Department of Health. 


On May 15th, 1959 they were officially engaged. From the time they had their first date in late December 1958 life was super great. Just being together was what mattered. If they couldn't see each other for a few days there would be a letter going back and forth from McChord. It was really fun to go on McChord AFB. They would find themselves walking along holding hands, laughing or singing a silly song. They went to the movies, bowling, Mt. Rainier, or to the dance. They made the official announcement to Eva's family at Randy's 2nd birthday party and called Jim's family. Their plans were in jeopardy when Jim's Dad refused to sign the paper the Air Force required for someone under the age of 21 to marry. His Mom came to the rescue and signed it. They set their wedding date for July 3rd and the preparations began. It was really fun picking out dresses, flowers, attendants, etc. Eva decided on her sisters and Jim selected Air Force friends. They would all wear their dress blues.

The Wedding 

July 3, 1959 Jim and Eva were married at the Assembly of God Church in Yelm, Washington. Reverend James Hendricks officiated. Attendants were Frank Sexton, Chuck Montgomery, Lois and Faye Baker.

Eva's dress was white chantilly lace and net over taffeta with a sweetheart neckline. The short veil fell from a tiara. The bouquet was of white rosebuds centered with a white orchid. Lois wore a pink lace over taffeta dress and Faye's was identical except it was in pale blue. Jim and his attendants wore their Class A blue uniforms. White gladioli and white stock with pink and white carnations banked the altar.

The reception was held at the Scout Cabin and after the cutting of the cake and opening the gifts dancing followed.

Eva and Jim stayed their first night as husband and wife at the Veys Motel in Longview. The next day they went to Portland where they stayed two nights and spent most of their time at Jantzen Beach playing amusement games.

The 1950's

A huge highlight of Eva's teenage years was in 1957. Elvis Presley performed at the Lincoln Bowl. She learned later that Jim had been at the same show. Elvis is still their all-time favorite.

In December 1959, Jim and Eva went to Illinois by train for Christmas. It was Eva's first trip by train and her first time meeting Jim's family. When they returned the train stalled due to an avalanche in the Cascades. It became extremely cold before they finally were able to clear the tracks. Going on the train was super fun, they loved the delicious meals and sitting in the vista dome. The picture above is Jim on the train. 

The 1960's 

The most exciting event's in the 1960's were the births of their three children. When they first learned they were going to be parents it was kind of scary. Jim was out of work and the State required that women quit work at 6 months pregnancy. When Eva awoke on November 22, 1960 with labor pains at 5 AM they could barely contain their excitement. At 5 PM Sandra Kay arrived. They fell in love with her immediately and any fears they had were quickly dispelled. When Eva arrived home from the hospital she stayed with her mom and dad for a couple days while Sandy had colic. Her mom said to Eva, "I'm amazed at your calm and patience with her when she is crying so much." Eva said to her, "it's easy, mom, I love her."

In January 1961 Eva went back to work for the State and worked one year. At the end of 1961, and with Jim working at Boeing, Eva decided to quit work. Bryan James was born March 16, 1962. On that day Eva began having labor pains about 11 AM. She remembered how long it took with Sandy so she decided to wait until Jim got home from work. When he arrived she said, "head for the hospital." At the time they were living in Kent and the hospital was in Olympia on the west side. Jim was really nervous when Eva got in the back seat and he started ranting and raving saying, "Why didn't you call me earlier?" About half way to the hospital and Jim driving like a maniac with Sandy bobbing all over the car, Eva said she didn't think the baby would wait that long. As they arrived in Olympia Bryan was born in the back seat. Jim ran in the hospital and told the nun, "my wife just had a baby in the back seat." The nun patted him on the shoulder and said, "now, honey, lets go see about that." Upon arriving at the car she let out with, "oh my, there is a baby in there." The only doctor on call was a radiologist so he attended to the baby and Eva.

On November 9, 1963 James Scott was born. Eva had stayed with her mom and dad the night before because the 9th was her due date and Jim had to work on that Saturday. When Eva got out of bed she said to her mom, "I think this is the day I will have the baby." Because she knew that Eva had Bryan in the back seat she said, "Well I'm taking you to the hospital right now." Eva had no labor pains, only some pressure. Eva's mom called Jim and said she was heading for the hospital. Seven minutes after arriving at the hospital James Scott was born. Dr. Cameron was very pleased at the quick delivery because he was able to keep his golf date.

1966-1967 were fun years since they were playing in a country band singing at dances, clubs on Ft. Lewis, bars, and on the radio every Saturday. Lois and Faye also were in the group. Playing at bars was quite an experience never knowing when the patrons might get pretty rowdy, which they often did. Sometimes the fists would fly or someone might pick up a chair to whack someone. While they loved every minute of being in the group, the late nights with three little ones got to be too much. Even after they discontinued playing on Friday and Saturday nights they continued to sing on the radio.

During these years they did a lot of camping. They had a lot at the Deschutes River and would take the camping trailer. Several other members of the Baker family had a lot there also and it was fun gathering at night around the campfire and singing. The kids still claim that was such a fun time in their lives.

In 1967 Jim's mom and dad and two sisters came to visit from Illinois. While Jim and Eva had gone to visit them nearly every year this was their first visit here. They took them to all the sights our state has to offer and it was a good chance for the kids to get to know their other grandparents from Illinois better.

They took their first trip to Disneyland in 1968. It was a really fun trip and fun to see all three of the kids looking so wide-eyed, not quite believing everything they were seeing. Completing the trip they also went to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and Knotts Berry Farm.
In July of 1969 Jim and Eva celebrated their 10th anniversary with dinner at the Space Needle and an overnight stay in Seattle. Eva had bought a sparkly, sexy black dress from Hollywood Fashions with little spaghetti straps for the occasion. During the day she got a bad sunburn so she was pretty disappointed in the red skin look but she wore the dress anyway. She still has that dress!

The 1970's

In 1971 Jim and Eva took a trip to Reno for their 12th anniversary, it would be one of the many trips there with family and on their own.

Their new home was built in 1973 and they still live there today. They bought 2 acres from Eva's mom and dad. It was an exciting time for both the kids and Jim and Eva seeing the new house completed.

With all three kids in school activities it was a busy time. Bryan and Jim were in tennis and basketball. The weekends were usually filled with attending bowling events involving all 3 kids.

In 1973 Jim's mom, dad, Wes, and Pat came from Taylorville, Illinois to visit. It was a fun experience showing them all our state has to offer.

Jim had been driving from Yelm to Seattle for 5 years working as a maintenance mechanic when in 1974 he applied for and received the chance to work at Ft. Lewis. Later he was promoted to maintenance supervisor. In November 1974 Eva returned to work at the State Department of Ecology and in 1979 transferred to the Gambling Commission. The kids also worked for Ecology for two summers, Sandy on the puppet crew and Bryan and Jim on the litter crew.

In 1976 they took a really fun trip to Disneyland, it did not compare to the first time when the kids were little - that wide-eyed wonder was gone. From there they went to Long Beach, California, Las Vegas, Reno, Crater Lake, and the dog races in Portland.

Faye and Jim went with Eva and Jim for a trip in 1978 to Reno and Virginia City. Faye and Eva were having a great time watching their nickels fall as they would win but were noticing a lot of nickels were missing - come to find out both Jim's, who drank quite a bit too much were sneakily stealing their nickels.

On July 3rd Jim and Eva celebrated their 20th anniversary. Jim bought flowers and they went out for dinner.

During the 70's they really got into bowling and entered a lot of tournaments. Sandy, Bryan, and Jim had taken up the sport, so they entered a number of tournaments too. It wasn't long until they were beating their mom and dad. In the 1970's they went to a lot of horse races at Longacres and the dog races in Portland.

Sandy graduated from Yelm High School in 1979 and began working for the State. 

The 1980's

May 1980 was when Mt. St. Helens erupted. Jim, Eva, Bryan, and Jim had been going to the mountain watching the plume and hoping it would erupt while they were there. Two days before it blew the four of them were there and the area they had gone to was not a good place to be the day of the actual eruption, with ash and deadly gases coming down from the mountain and timber and debris coming down the creek.

Bryan graduated in June 1980 and was given MVP and coaches award for tennis. He entered college in September at Centralia and played on their tennis team.

In August of 1980 Sandy married Ranor Houx.

An exciting event happened on May 19, 1982 when Jim and Eva's first grandchild was born. Sandy and Ranor named her Sandra Lynn. The family was totally enamored with her and each grandchild as they were born.

Jim graduated in June 1982. He won MVP for tennis and basketball. He began at South Puget Sound College in September 1982 and graduated in 1985 with a degree in automotive technology.

In March 1983 Jim and Eva took Bryan on a Reno and Lake Tahoe trip to help him celebrate his 21st birthday. Bryan was hooked on gambling when right off the bat he won $1,000 on a poker machine.

Eva's mom and dad celebrated their 50th anniversary in May 1983. A meal and program was held with their 7 kids talking about events they remembered. Even some relatives of Eva's dad came from Kansas for the big event.

On July 3, 1984 Sandy, Bryan, and Jim hosted a family backyard party for Eva and Jim's 25th anniversary. Eva had always wished they had had a professional photographer for their wedding. Sandy had taken what pictures they did have and made a beautiful album that Jim and Eva both treasure.

Late in July of 1984 Eva and Jim along with Sandy, Ranor, and Sandi went to Illinois on vacation. It was the first time Sandi's great-grandparents in Illinois saw her. Sandi loved to read to Grandma Enlow's little dog Sam. The dog was very attentive and seemed to enjoy every word of it.

February 22, 1985 their second granddaughter, Merinda Ann Houx, was born. She was the first in the family to have brown eyes and was quite the chubby little thing, but super cute.

Bryan and Jeanne married in Reno on April 6, 1985. Eva and Jim, Eva's mom and dad, and Lois all went along. Eva and Jim were their attendants. 

Jeanne already had an 8 year old daughter, Michelle Marie, who was born December 4, 1977, so now they had 3 granddaughters. Jim and Eva debated what Michelle would want to call them, she made it easy and from the beginning just called them Grandma and Grandpa.

Nicole Renee, their 4th granddaughter, was born 6 weeks early on June 2, 1986. Even though she looked small, she looked big in comparison to the other premature babies that were in the intensive care unit. She remained there for several weeks with Grandma and Grandpa visiting her every day.

Jim and Janet had gone together since high school. When Janet graduated from WSU they were married on June 6, 1987. Sandi was their flower girl.

In September of 1987 Jim and Eva realized a lifelong dream of going to Nashville. They went to the Grand Ole' Opry, Opryland, and on the General Jackson riverboat where they took in a dinner and show. Eva managed to drop her camera in the river, so a lot of her pictures were gone along with the camera.

Jim's mom and dad celebrated their 50th anniversary on September 19, 1988. Eva and Jim attended along with Jim's 7 sisters and brother.

A really exciting event happened on November 29, 1988. Their first grandson, Brenden Ranor Houx, was born after they already had four granddaughters. He was born on Eva's dad's 79th birthday. Sandy couldn't wait to tell Eva and Jim, "it's a boy." Even though they were glad to have a grandson they would have been excited either way.

In 1989 they took what they call their "most fun" Reno trip. Faye and Jim, Lois, Jim and Janet, Lee and Joann, Joann's mom, Laura, Eva's mom and dad, and Eva and Jim all went in two vans. They had a super time and Joann's mom made the best sugar cookies ever. She brought a lot of them along and everyone devoured them. They had a good time talking back and forth between the vans on CB radios, eating together, and staying at the same motel.

The Enlow and Houx families hosted a backyard barbecue for Jim and Eva on July 3, 1989 celebrating their 30th anniversary.

The 1990's

The 90's were years filled with many trips and fun places to go. Eva and Jim especially enjoyed going to Branson, Missouri to take in the country music shows, Lake Tahoe, Reno, an anniversary trip to San Francisco and a number of beach trips with the family. 

On their many trips to visit Jim's family in Illinois they were accompanied by several of their grandchildren. Sandi and Michelle got to go along in 1992. 

Nicole and Mindy went to Illinois in 1997. Eva and Jim traveled a different route so the girls would be able to see Mt. Rushmore. It was definitely worth the extra miles. 

Sandy, Sandi, Mindy, Brenden, and Nicole all went along in 1994.

Jim and Janet got into the baby business during these years. Jaedyn Rianne Enlow was born on March 14, 1994 and Jessilyn Amey on April 7, 1997. They were the 5th and 6th granddaughters and the 6th and 7th grandchildren. Eva and Sandy were very excited when Janet allowed them in the delivery room. They both got to help with the new babies at the hospital and enjoyed every minute of it.

These were retirement years for both Jim and Eva. Eva retired from the Gambling Commission on August 30, 1992. On December 4, 1993 Jim retired from Civil Service at Ft. Lewis. Eva says she wanted to have the freedom to sleep in, stay up late, be free to travel, be able to help her parents, and available to babysit or spoil the grandchildren. Jim was pretty envious of Eva's new lifestyle, so when a cash incentive was offered for an early out he grabbed at the chance.

The seven grandkids posed in 1997 for a picture in their Mariner's shirts. From the back left: Michelle, Sandi, Mindy, Brenden, Nicole, Jaedyn, and Jessilyn.

Sandy opened her preschool in the early 90's and she loved doing it. The parents all raved on her and said their kids were getting so much out of it.

Jim and Eva took in lots of concerts from many of their favorite country music stars in the 90's including: Vince Gill, George Strait, Garth Brooks, the Judds, Alan Jackson, Reba McIntyre, Brooks 'n Dunn, etc. The entire family made countless trips to the beach and to Mariners games. With the Mariners winning the 1995 A.L. championship it was especially fun to be a Mariners fan! It was super fun watching their favorite team.

Michelle gradauted from YHS in June 1996. She loved choir and it was a thrill when she was chosen to do solo parts. The other grandkids were involved in dance, theatre, basketball, baseball, and soccer during these years.

Jim and Eva were totally excited when Bill Clinton's campaign bus stopped in Yelm on September 19, 1996. Seeing a presidential candidate up close and personal was unbelievable.

When Eva woke Jim up early on February 25, 1995 Jim was a little more than ticked off since both of them hated getting up early. Well, Eva had secretly planned a surprise by getting plane tickets to Elko, Nevada for a weekend at Holiday Inn and some fun gambling. She read him a poem she had written about the surprise and by then he was totally into it.

In May 1998 Eva's mom and dad celebrated 65 years of marriage. In September of 1998 Jim's mom and dad were married 60 years. In 1999 Jim and Eva both turned 60 and were married for 40 years. Sandy, Bryan, and Jim held a "roast" for them and there were lots of laughs and even a few tears.

The 2000's

In March of 2000 Nicole and her dance troupe performed at Disneyland.

Sandi graduated from Yelm High School in June 2000. She was student body Vice-President, cross country, prom princess, and a finalist for Student Citizen of the Year.

In October 2001 Mindy was Homecoming Princess and won several basketball awards in 2003 and 2005.

When Eva and Jim visited Jim's family in Illinois in June 2002 they realized a longtime dream by going to Graceland in Memphis. Freida and Vic also went along.

During the 2000's Jaedyn and Jessilyn appeared in Peter Pan on Broadway, Grease, and Cinderella at the Drew Harvey Theater and in the Nutcracker in 2004 and 2005.

Mindy graduated in June 2003 and began at Grays Harbor College.

Nicole graduated in June 2004 and began at Eastern Washington University.

In March 2005 Mindy was selected for NWAACC All-Star Team, leading rebounder for the NWAAC. She was MVP and Female Athlete of the year for Grays Harbor College.

Brenden, Mindy, Jaedyn, Jessilyn, and Nicole were involved in baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, fastpitch, and dance in the 2000's.

Mindy graduated from Great Falls University in May 2007

Nicole graduated from Eastern Washington University in June 2008. 

Brenden played four years of baseball and basketball at YHS, with 3 years at the varsity level.

Brenden graduated from high school in June 2007 and began at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon where he is completing his Sophomore year. 
After several years of going together Sandi and Brandon were married August 17, 2007 in Seattle. They now make their home in Kirkland, Washington. Jessilyn was their flower girl.

Eva and Jim flew to Long Beach for their first cruise ever in November 2007. Faye, Jim, Lois, Grandma Baker, Bonnie, and Sarah also went.

Jaedyn played varsity both her 7th and 8th grade years and is currently playing for YHS. This year she was able to travel with the varsity team as they went to State.

Michelle and Jay were married August 25, 2008. They now make their home in Fife, Washington.

Bryan did not have a fun 2008 with both appendix and gallbladder surgeries.

In April 2009, Eva and Jim visited Brenden and girlfriend, Asia, and toured the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley.

The 1st weekend in May 2009 Eva and Jim spent a week in Twain Harte, California visiting 3 Air Force buddies of Jim's and their wives. They were reunited 2 years ago and met in Reno that year. It was a really fun time sharing memories and remembrances.

Click here to see Eva Enlow's
Family Tree
what a blast from the past   / Linda Brandfas Flotto (cousin)

I came across your website after a genealogy site sent me a birthday reminder and it got me to start searching family names for the first time in many years.  I found it hard to believe that you are now 70, but then I remembered,...  Continue >>
Greetings...  / Rita Roland (none)
Hey Eva and Jim.....   wonderful book.. seems I saw and read much of it some time back.  Whoever put it together, really did a super job.  Kudos to them. 

Hope to see you two in Wisconsin, July/Aug 2010,  for ...  Continue >>
Jaedi girl   / Jaedyn Enlow (Granddaughter)
I hope you have a great anniversary!  You guys are "super-great" grandparents and I am really glad that I got you.  I love how you come to almost all of my events and cheer me on.  I had sooooo much fun decorating your Christ...  Continue >>
Dennis's Aunt and Uncle   / Eva Enlow
We wanted to share a cute note from Dennis and Cary prior to our renewal ceremony.  We got a kick out of it.

"Is it too late to come to the ceremony?  Cary and I were able to rearrange our schedule to free up the 25th. ...  Continue >>
Jim's "baby" sister   / Becky (Jim's sister )
I would love to make it there for your anniversary celebration, but at this time we just don't have the money.  I did go to your website and it is really nice.  Your granddaughter did a great job.  It must have taken some time to get t...  Continue >>
none / Sue Sumpter (Jim's sister )    Read >>
None / Debra Baker (Niece)    Read >>
What A Great Family  / Cindy Baker Greenslitt (Niece)    Read >>
From a wanna be Enlow/Baker....  / Dawna Hansen (Friend)    Read >>
Labor of Love  / Bonnie Wollnick (Niece)    Read >>
Celebrate the Moment  / Lois Baker (Sister to Eva/Sister-in-law )    Read >>
Wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, sister-in-law  / Eva And Jim (Myself)    Read >>
daughter / Sandy Houx (their daughter )    Read >>
Awww :)  / Sarah Wollnick (Niece)    Read >>
Jessilyn / Jessie Kramer (Sister-In-Law)    Read >>
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