Togetherness Is Key To Long Marriage



Gar and Eleanor Baybrook have done everything together during their 66 years of marriage. There is a twinkle in Gar's eye when he jokes that the marriage probably won't last.

On Jan. 31, 1939, Eleanor went to business college and worked at a house for her room and board. When Gar's mother wanted to visit her cousin, who happened to own the house, he took her. "Lo and behold I met this one," Gar said.


Gar and Eleanor Baybrook

The pretty young woman was just out of her teens. "I had been out with a lot of girls, but this one took my eye," he said.

"I liked him right from the start. He and the man of the house where I was working teased me all evening," Eleanor said with a laugh, reminiscing about the night she met Gar. "I blushed."

"I thought, wow, a girl that can still blush. On February 14, I bought her a diamond ring and three months later we were married."

Their secret to staying married for 66 years is doing everything together.

"If the wife goes to bowling and the man goes golfing and they do everything separate they are going to separate. I saw that happen to a good friend of mine," Gar said. "We just agreed we wouldn't join any clubs that we couldn't both be in. We also talked over what we both liked."

Before their marriage, Eleanor had only traveled about 300 miles from home and Gar had been a few hundred farther, but both had a passion to travel and really see the world. Since their marriage, the couple has visited 22 countries and 49 states.

Egypt was the dirtiest, but they wouldn't trade all the things they were able to see there.

"Hong Kong and Switzerland were very clean and nice. Switzerland is really pretty," Gar said.

Eleanor was an EKG technician and later a manager for a radiology company. Before World War II, she was in the civilian pilot training program and earned her pilot's license and flew during the war. She also was manager of a canning factory in New York state.

"Eleanor is friendly with everybody. She's a good cook. A good parent," said Gar..

Eleanor described her husband in five words: "Gar is a lot of fun."

Gar designed space hardware.

"Mostly (my rockets) go up and come back. Every day they tell you where the wind is, the jet stream in the upper atmosphere."

He worked on the Bell Aircraft Cobra, the Judy rocket and several exploratory type missiles.

Gar's job, on the first rocket to pass the speed of sound, was to balance the center of gravity so control was not lost.

Proudly, Eleanor related that the government would specify on their contracts that only Gar Baybrook was to work on the experimental designs.

The couple came to Arizona in 1959 from New York state.

They started coming to Payson from Scottsdale in 1964 to start the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1969 they started Leaves-Of-Autumn Books, using just a post office box.

The Baybrooks made the move to Payson in 1974 and opened the business at 518 W. Main St.


Names: Gar and Eleanor Baybrook

Occupations: Owners of Leaves-Of-Autumn Books Inc. at 518 W. Main St. Leaves is a Christian bookstore which specializes in Adventist books, but there are many rare used books on a variety of subjects on the shelves as well. Gar is a writer. Eleanor is the organist for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Birthplace: Hers: Napoli, N.Y. His: Clymer, N.Y.

Family: Two children, daughter, Sherry and son, Wayne, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Greatest feat: Raising two of their own kids and numerous foster children. "We never owned a T.V. and that's why our kids are successful," said Gar.

Inspiration: Jesus.

The person in history we'd most like to meet: Jesus. That's the center of everything.

Favorite hobby: Gar loves to write books. Eleanor loves to teach. They both love to travel even though they are no longer able to do so.

Dream vacation spot: Australia and New Zealand.

Luxury defined: Having enough grocery money.

Why Payson? To start the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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