Double wedding couples celebrating 50th anniversaries


Jim and Joanne Partch and Ann and Dwight Bond

Two couples, James and Joanne Partch and Ann and Dwight Bond, will celebrate their golden anniversary June 18, 2011.

The couples were married in a double wedding ceremony at Sunnyside First Methodist Church on June 18, 1961.

Mrs. Partch and Mrs. Bond moved to the Lower Valley after graduating from the University of Michigan in June 1958.

The pair were college roommates and continued to room together when they moved to the Lower Valley.

Shortly after moving into an apartment in Sunnyside and beginning their teaching careers, Joanne, a teacher in the Sunnyside School District, and Ann, a teacher at Outlook Elementary School, were invited to a teacher's party in Prosser.

That's where the ladies met their prospective husbands.

The party was hosted by Mr. Bond, a teacher in Prosser at the time.

Mr. Bond and Mr. Partch were both teachers in Prosser, although both were Sunnyside High School graduates and former teammates.

Mr. Bond said he had just returned from the Korean war and taught students at Prosser High School.

"It was a few months after the party that Dwight called me," said Mrs. Bond.

Mr. Partch also began dating Joanne after that party.

"A lot of couples were married as a result of the party," Mrs. Bond said.

As the romances between the two couples blossomed the women began thinking about their families, who lived in Illinois and Michigan.

Mrs. Bond said, "We come from frugal family backgrounds."

She said her parents, as well as Mrs. Partch's parents, wanted to attend both wedding ceremonies.

As a result, the couples decided to be married in a double wedding ceremony.

Mrs. Bond said the couples' paths took different roads after the ceremony, in which the women carried bouquets made of chicken feathers.

The Bonds honeymooned in Lake Chelan, while the Partch's honeymoon destination was Ocean Shores.

After the honeymooning, the Bonds left for Michigan to take teaching positions there.

The Partch's taught children in Lafayette, Calif. for a year before returning to Outlook.

Mr. Partch took over the family farm and Mrs. Partch raised the couple's children until 1980.

She said, "I waited until the children could get on the bus by themselves."

Mrs. Partch remained a teacher in the Sunnyside School District until she retired in 2001.

The Bonds, on the other hand, left Michigan after a year and moved to Concord, Calif. They returned to Washington in 1966 and now reside in the Seattle area.

The Partch's, too, moved to the Seattle area in 2002 when their sons James and Joe took over the family farm.

To celebrate the couples' unique anniversary they lunched together this past April.

"We are really busy in the summer months," said Mrs. Bond.

She said her family will gather for a barbecue on the actual anniversary date.

Mrs. Partch said she and her husband recently traveled to Arizona. They will celebrate their anniversary with other couples in their community at a gathering for couples celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries.

"It's unusual for two couples to be married together and remain married for 50 years," said Mrs. Partch.


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