They were lucky to have survived.
That's the first thing Indiana native Emogene “Jean” Garman said about the cold December day in 1923 when she and twin brother Eugene “Jack” Marvel were born prematurely at seven months, weighing just more than 3 pounds, at their family farm in Warsaw.
“My mother warmed up bricks and stuck them in our beds ... to help keep us warm,” Garman said.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, Marvel went to lunch at his favorite restaurant in Warsaw to celebrate his 90th birthday. He walked inside to find Garman and their respective families waiting at a long table decorated with birthday balloons, presents and a cake. The surprise had been organized by Garman's daughter, Kay King, for both of them but her mother caught on to the plans, Jack didn't. “He didn't expect a thing” Jean said with a smile.
While Garman and Marvel's family eventually grew to include six other siblings, the two remained close, climbing trees and on occasion getting into trouble.
“Anything he'd tell me to do I was stupid enough to do it,” she joked.
Over the years the twins grew up. Garman went to war; Marvel stayed in Indiana and worked. Both got married and had children, then grandchildren. Jean now lives with her husband, Vernon, in Elkhart while Jack and his wife, Edith, call Leesburg home. Both couples have been married 66 years.