Gene E. Floyd, a real estate consultant, appraiser, developer and former Glen Burnie Urban Renewal director, died May 15 from respiratory failure at his Brightview Severna Park home. He was 88.
His wife of nearly 68 years, Marcine Swaim, a retired Anne Arundel County public schools educator, died two days later from an aneurysm, also at Brightview Severna Park. She was 92.
Gene Everett Floyd, the son of Kyden Harrison Floyd and his wife, Jessie Florence Brennan Floyd, was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he graduated from Hoagland High School.
The former Marcine Swaim, the daughter of William G. Swaim and his wife, Jessie Jewel Hensley Swaim, was born and raised in Little Rock, Ark., where she graduated from high school.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., and her master’s degree from the University of Arkansas.
A Washington newspaper had written a story about Marcine and her family moving to the nation’s capital, which her future husband, an Air Force corporal, had read.
Mr. Floyd first saw her in the cafeteria of the government agency where they both worked, laughing with her sisters, and recognized her as the same woman who had been featured in the newspaper story.
At that time, Mr. Floyd, who was waiting for a security clearance so he could be deployed, struck up a conversation with the young woman, which led to their first date.
“The Floyds said they became serious pretty quickly; two weeks into dating, Marcine met Gene’s parents,” according to a 2016 article in The Capital on the occasion of the couple’s 65th wedding anniversary.
“The topic of marriage didn’t come up on the first date, but it was discussed soon after. Since Gene was planning on getting deployed, they decided to make the commitment,” according to the newspaper article.
“We didn’t want to part,” Mrs. Floyd told the newspaper. “So we said, ‘Let’s get married.’ ”
“There wasn’t a big romantic gesture when it came to the engagement, just a conversation about marriage one night in Gene’s car,” The Capital reported.
It was 65 days from their first date to the altar when they married Oct. 19, 1951.
Their families did not attend the wedding; rather, two friends served as best man and maid of honor.
“We really didn’t want to mess around,” Mrs. Floyd told The Capital.
“I guess it’s probably going to work out,” her husband replied.
The couple explained to a newspaper reporter that they did not have any photos from their dating days or wedding.
Mr. Floyd said they didn’t do “too much research into the whole marriage thing.”
“We were both young and foolish,” he said. “Now we’re older and foolish.”
Despite a four-year difference in age, both shared a common desire for children, living on a farm, and Christian values. The only acknowledged difference was that Mr. Floyd was a Yankee and his wife a Southerner.
“I don’t even know if we knew our ages when we married,” Mrs. Floyd told The Capital.
After their marriage, the couple settled in Glen Burnie, where they raised their five children.
Mr. Floyd, who worked as a real estate consultant, appraiser, developer, broker and investor, was the founder of Floyd & Co. He was semiretired at his death.
From 1979 to 1984, he was Glen Burnie Urban Renewal director and served on the board of trustees of Anne Arundel Community College from 1990 to 2009.
In 1965, he was elected president of the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, and was elected to the position again in 1987. He was named in 2010 to the Anne Arundel County Business Hall of Fame.
Family members said that Mr. Floyd “passionately helped others” and had held many community positions in North Glen, Glen Burnie and Severna Park, where they later moved.
For her more than 40-year career as an elementary school educator until her retirement in 1992, Mrs. Floyd was on the faculty of Rippling Woods, Marley and Ferndale elementary schools.
In her retirement, Mrs. Floyd continued volunteering at local schools. She enjoyed reading and knitting. She also liked to play the piano and violin.
In addition to being a boater, Mr. Floyd enjoyed gardening and was known for his garden, which contained more than 300 azaleas, and his collection of turtle figurines that numbered more than 400.
The couple shared a passion for driving and the open road and had visited all 50 states and the nation’s 13 presidential libraries.
“We just love to drive,” Mrs. Floyd told The Capital. “Go one way, come back another.”
The couple estimated that during their lifetimes they probably had traveled almost a million miles. In one year alone, they drove from Maryland to California three times.
A devout Baptist, Mrs. Floyd helped build and establish North Glen Baptist Church on West Furnace Branch Road in Glen Burnie in 1960, and later became a 40-year member of Severna Park Baptist Church.
On marital harmony, Mrs. Floyd explained that if she and her husband had a disagreement, it only lasted for a couple of hours before things returned to normal.
“They were both brought up to ‘live the way you should live,’ ” Mrs. Floyd told the newspaper.
A joint funeral was held for Mr. and Mrs. Floyd on May 23 at Severna Park Baptist Church, and then they were interred together at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville.
They are survived by a son, Ken Floyd of Baltimore; four daughters, Marcie Shenton of Crofton, Nancy Floyd Prue and Barbara Floyd, both of Millersville, and Kay Floyd of Bristow, Va.; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.