Seventy years ago, Frances and Webster Willeford, former long-time residents of Pine, were married March 15, 1931, in a simple ceremony at his parents' home in Downey, Calif. A celebration with family and friends was held in their honor March 17 at the caregiver's home in Mesa where Frances now resides.
The couple met through mutual friends at a high school basketball game in Lancaster, Calif. Three months later they were married. "I had to marry him," Frances said. "He camped on my door step till I said yes."
They weathered the many twists and turns that life threw at them, including a flood, the Great Depression, the death of a child, and World War II. They had five children, Margie Schneider of Apple Valley, Calif., Edie Palmer of Las Vegas, Nev., Stone Willeford of Mesa, Ariz., Maryanne Asa of Mesa, and Dee Kelly of Pine.
Most of the couple's children and 12 grandchildren attended the anniversary celebration, as did many of their 18 great-grandchildren and one of their four great-great-grandchildren.
Although Frances no longer lives at home, Webster lives within walking distance with his daughter and son-in-law, Maryanne and Mark Asa, and he sees his wife almost every day.