Carrabelle man honors late wife with incredible Christmas display

Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 11:27 PM EST
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By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

December 9, 2019

CARRABELLE, Fla. (WCTV) – Cecil Millender is a popular man. The 82-year-old has spent is whole life in Carrabelle, most of that with his wife, Kay.

"She's the only girl I ever dated, the only girl I ever kissed," he said.

They met in 1953, married in 1956, and spent more than fifty years together before her passing in 2005.

Millender made it his mission to transform Kay's final resting place into a sparkling display of his love and devotion. With the help of his son, Cecil adds to the dazzling grave site year after year.

Now, a generator powers more than 10,000 lights. They cover multiple crosses, palm trees, and even a Nativity scene. It's a tribute to what the couple loved to do each Christmas.

"We used to cover our house in them, me and her," Millender said.

Over the years, families in Carrabelle have adopted new traditions- making time to stop by the colorful site.

Michelle Myers loves taking her grandkids to the site, especially for the Nativity. She said she's known Cecil her whole life.

"It's very special to everybody," she said.

"When I get a husband I want one like Mr. Cecil, to love me till I go to my grave."

Cecil said he appreciates the town's warm reception, but he doesn't do it to get recognition. He does it for Kay.

"Just to remember," he said. "Most people will forget. I ain't never forget."

Outside of a hospital stay, he has visited Kay's grave every day for the last 14 years.

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