EATON —Thirty-four couples celebrated their many years of wedded bliss during the 26th annual Golden Anniversary Celebration, held on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
The event was sponsored by The Register-Herald in cooperation with the Preble County Council on Aging, Vancrest Health Care Center, The Greenbriar, Summit Chiropractic, Heartland of Eaton, Brookhaven, and the HIT Foundation’s Senior Home Repair Program.
Couples who attended the celebration were treated to refreshments including punch and cake, and door prizes to be won during games of bingo.
Shelley Ratliff, the Executive Director of the Preble County Council on Aging was featured speaker. She noted, there were over 3,400 years of marriage in the room, an incredible number of years the married couples shared together. Ratliff read a heartfelt poem about marriage and told of how wedding anniversary celebrations started in the middle ages — back then, a husband would present his wife with a golden wreath on their 50th wedding anniversary.
Ratliff also shared all the services offered to seniors in the county.
Many of the couples were asked what the secret to a long, happy marriage was. One such couple, Kathy and Richard McKee, have been married for 56 years. Richard said the secret was, “being able to give” and “to admit when you’re wrong.”
Joetta Vickers, who has been married to her husband Ray for 61 years, said the key was, “Companionship. It’s a give and take.”
Ed and Judy King have been married for 56 years; Ed said the secret to their long marriage was “patience and forgiving,” and Judy said it was “give and take.”
Bob Brenner, who has shared 69 years of marriage with his wife Lil, agreed, it was “a lot of give and take, while Martha Gabbard who along with husband Earl has 61 years of marriage under her belts aid it was “listening, and not getting so mad.”
Special honors were given at the celebration to the longest-married couple and the most recent Golden Anniversary couple. Dean and Carol Brubaker celebrated their 50th anniversary nine days prior to the event; the Brubakers were honored as the most recent Golden Anniversary Couple and given a flower arrangement provided by Eaton Floral.
The longest-wed couple has won several years in a row: William and Nellie Fudge, who have been married for 73 years, were presented corsages provided by Your Flower Shoppe.
Overall, the Golden Anniversary Celebration was deemed a success and included several new couples who had not attended in the past.
Special thanks go out to all the generous prize and refreshment donors.