Couple stays active and happy

Published 7:58 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

There’s a mantel over the fireplace at Jack and Dorothy Corriher’s Mocksville home.

But the story behind the mantel is much more than just a place for the couple to hang their grandchildrens’ stockings. It’s a story about staying active, no matter what your age.

When Jack Corriher retired from the construction business, he made sure that his old shop had a space for him to go and work. From that space, he’s built cabinets for the Family Life Center at First Methodist Church, he’s built gifts for family and friends.

And, at age 85,  he built a mantel.

A lung cancer survivor who has had three heart surgeries and requires oxygen, giving up was never an option.

“I told him, ‘Jack, you’ve built so many pretty things, do you think you could build us a simple mantel to hang stockings from’.”

There were no plans, except what was in his mind. Almost every day, he would drive to the shop to work on the mantel.

“Before he finished, he realized it was too large to get it into the house,” she said.

Again, not a problem for a retired master carpenter. He cut it in half, got it into their home and put it back together. Of course, there was plenty of help for that project.

His answer is simple. “I enjoy woodworking.”

“My main goal … is about his determination to keep going, to keep moving,” she said. “He never gives up. I’ve seen him almost to the point of death … and in a few days, he’s back at that shop.”

Even as they are aging, life is good. “There are things that make us happy, things to look forward to and enjoy life,” she said.

It’s a second marriage for both, as their spouses had died. They still talk about their former spouses, and keep momentoes around the home as reminders.

Maybe it is the advice from a doctor that keeps him going. “They doctor told me you’ve always been on the go, keep going and keep doing.”