S: Fifty Years Together
BC: THERE'S NOTHING MORE PRECIOUS THAN REGAINING MEMORIES FROM A PHOTO TAKEN LONG AGO
FC: Ray and Jane | Our Story
1: November 23, 2010 Dear Mom and Dad, This day, we not only celebrate your 50th Wedding Anniversary but most importantly we celebrate the blessing of being sealed together as an eternal family. As you look through this book at all the wonderful memories, we hope you will know how grateful and blessed we feel that today you have given us one of the most important memories that we will have for eternity! We love you both so much. Love Brenda and Vicki
2: Once there was a boy... | Ray was born in Excelsior Springs, MO on August 5th, 1935. In his little town he was known as "Coal Oil Johnny"and the best milkshake maker around! Later, he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where he attended West High School. After graduating he attended the University of Utah and worked on the docks at Garrett Freight Lines.
3: When he turned 22, Ray decided to join the Army. He trained in finance and did so well that they let him choose where he would like his permanent assignment to be. He wanted to see other parts of the world, so as soon as he saw France was a choice,his decision was made. It was there that a lady in the mess hall caught his eye....
4: Her name was Janie Stirton. She was born in Horton, KS on July 20, 1938. Being a twin made growing up extra fun. Jane and Judy loved to roller skate, swing, play ping pong and jacks. However, Jane wasn't content staying in Muscotah, KS after she graduated.
5: So she packed her bags and joined the Womens Army Corps! She bravely got on the bus and headed to Fort McClellan, Ala. for Basic Training. After graduating in Finance school she was sent to Orleans, France. | Orleans, France | While working in the office one day, Ray arranged through some friends to meet her. They talked for 3 hours straight and found out they had a lot in common, It was complete bliss! There was only one problem. She had a boyfriend, (who just happened to be Yogi Berra's nephew) and she knew that she was going to have to break his heart.
6: Being stationed in France made for some exciting dates that were perfect on an Army budget. Picnics in the park, skiing in the Alps, bus tours, religious retreats and visits to castles and gardens of Europe were just a few of the romantic dates they enjoyed.
7: They spent two wonderful years together in France. Unfortunately, since Jane entered the Army 6 months before Ray, she completed her service and returned home alone.
8: Many letters were written conveying their love for each other, but it was one letter in particular that caught Jane's attention. Along with it came a little package with a diamond ring and a question that would change her life! | Miss Jane Stirton Box 164 Muscotah, Kansas USA
9: She wrote back with the answer "yes!" Shortly afterwards, Jane nervously rode a bus to Denver to meet her new in-laws to be. It was a great relief to her to know they were nice and that they were excited to have her be their daughter-in-law!
10: I Do... | Ray and Jane were married on March 13th, 1960 in Muscotah, Kansas
11: Mr. and Mrs. Woods packed their bags and headed to Salt Lake City to start their life together. They found a perfect apartment on South Temple that was close to their jobs. That is, until a month later when Jane unexpectedly announced that their one bedroom just wasn't going to be large enough anymore!
12: It's a Girl... | Vicki Lynn was born on January 23, 1961 | It's a Girl...
14: Ray and Jane enjoyed watching Vicki grow up. Vicki was a child who loved to talk and always had to be playing with her friends. Thinking that Vicki was going to be their only child due to a medical condition called endometriosis, they were shocked to learn that Jane was actually pregnant. This was a miracle and everyone was so excited. In fact, Jane and Vicki went shopping for baby clothes the night they found out! | Growing up with Vicki
16: Vicki became a big sister to Brenda Lee on Oct 30, 1969
17: Brenda was just a few hours short of being born on Halloween, which according to Vicki would have been so much fun! The day before was perfect for Brenda and made for fun Halloween-themed birthday parties that she loved!
18: crib & bib to cap & gown | Brenda enjoyed shopping with her mom, going on many fun vacations with her parents, and most of all being an Aunt when she turned 13 years old!
20: Even though they were nine years apart, Vicki loved playing with Brenda.
21: Sisters by chance, friends by choice | First time Vicki held Brenda
22: Vicki would spend hours with Brenda on her rocking horse and could always make her laugh on the "ab machine" as they went up and down!
24: Through the years
27: Family Portraits | Family Portraits
28: Making memories with Grandma Alice
29: Every summer we made a trip to Denver to see Grandma Alice. Vicki and Brenda knew when they arrived at her home there would always be good food on the table, orange slices in the bowl, lots of laughter, games and great stories to be heard!
30: Stirton Family Reunions | Then they would drive to Kansas to spend time with Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and cousins. This was a time that the girls could run around the farm, play badminton, sit on the swing and ride the tractor. The cousins also spent a lot of time teasing and scaring each other!
33: The reunions have continued over the years. One of the most special reunions occurred when Vicki and Brent were able to introduce her Grandparents to their Great-grandson, Steven.
34: Love is patient, love is kind. | Brent and Vicki were married on August 28th, 1981, in the Salt Lake City Temple.
35: John Steven Russell was born on May 9th, 1984, | Dear Grandma and Grandpa, First and Foremost, I want you to know how lucky I am to be your oldest and therefore favorite Grandchild! Just kidding, you have a lot of incredible grandchildren to choose from but at least I'm in the top seven! On a more serious note, I am so grateful to have amazing Grandparents. Grandpa, you have taught me to never stop learning. You always have a book in your hand and this has inspired me to read everyday. Grandma, you are the most giving person I know. You work so hard to do for others and as someone who has benefited from your giving, I thank you. Thanks for being such wonderful Christ-like examples to me and I am so grateful that we will be an eternal family. Happy Anniversary! Love Steven
36: Jason Scott Russell was born on July 18, 1987. | Grandma and Grandpa-Happy 50th Anniversary! I wish I could find the words to describe the influence you both continue to have on my life. I consider it to be a great blessing to be your Grandson. Grandma, you have a heart of gold and I am so impressed with your selfless service to others around you. You are also the go to person if I ever need anything. No one can sew torn jackets or cook better than you. Speaking of your cooking, I hope you have taught my Mom how to make fried chicken like you make it!! Grandpa, there is one attribute that I believe all your grandchildren really appreciate and that is your love for reading. I am reading three books at the moment and just bought two today. I'm trying to 'catch-up' and get to your pace. I know from your readings you have developed a wealth of knowledge and are a great teacher. Just remember how much you improved my bowling skills! I want you to know the profound love I have for the both of you and how truly special you are to me. Love Jason
37: Janessa Russell was born on April 7, 1994 | Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Happy 50th Anniversary to the best ''Babysitters'' ever. I'm so blessed to be able to have Grandparents come and tend me all the time because it's given me the opportunity to truly know the both of you. Grandma, I love it when we play Mexican Choo-Choo and when you get me Cookies and Cream ice cream or anything else I want haha. Grandpa, I'll never forget when you helped me with my 5th grade D.A.R.E. report and since you did such an amazing job I happened to win first place and had to read it in front of my whole grade. I don't know if I should have you help me with anymore reports haha. Thank you so much for being amazing GRANDPARENT'S. I'm so happy that we will be an Eternal Family. I love you so much.! Love, Janessa
38: On July 19, 1990 Brenda and Todd Edwards married in the Salt Lake Temple
39: Brooke Edwards was born April 29, 1991 | Dear Grandpa and Grandma, As I look back at all our fun memories, there are so many fun things I remember. I loved when you came to stay with us when my mom and dad were at Atlanta because it was New Years Eve and you stayed up with us and made it such a fun night! Grandma, I remember all of the many times you would sew things for us. I was especially grateful when you made my first formal gown modest by sewing up the slit. Not only are you so good at sewing, but cooking too. I love when you come and make all those delicious meals. Also, I will always love how you taught me to make my first pie. I felt so accomplished after making my first one. Grandpa, I want to thank you for introducing me to Harry Potter. It was my first time really loving a book and still is my favorite to this day. I have loved going to see the movies with you and how excited you were to see it too. Another thing I loved was when you would always take us to Wendy's for a Frosty and we would always find something to laugh about. I am so grateful for you in my life because of your encouraging words and faith in me. You have always supported me in my hobbies and that means a lot! I really am so grateful you joined the church and it has been a testimony builder for me. I love you both so much. Happy Anniversary!! Love, Brooke
40: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, I am so lucky to have such amazing grandparents! I have so many great memories with you two! I remember how excited we were to have you visit us in Seattle, and I loved all the beautiful costumes and dresses you made for me, Grandma! I could not wait to visit Las Vegas because we always have so much fun there (even when the bathtub shoots water everywhere!). I remember how surprised and excited I was to see your car in our driveway in South Jordan when you came to help us finish the basement, Grandma! I love the traditions with the yearly Barbie ornaments and Harry Potter books that you made sure we had. I remember the morning Grandpa took me and Janessa to Einstein's Bagels for a delicious breakfast! And of course I had the time of my life at Disney World and Florida in seventh grade! Happy 50th Anniversary! Some of my favorite memories are with you and I love you with all my heart! Thank you for being such wonderful influences in my life! I am so happy that you will be sealed to our family for eternity! Love always, Alyssa | Alyssa Edwards was born on April 23, 1993
41: Corwin Seth Edwards was born on April 12, 1997 | Dear Grandpa and Grandma, Happy Anniversary to the greatest Grandparents! Thank you for making a lot of fun memories for us over the years. Grandpa, I loved when I was in 3rd grade and we played suduko together and when we went to the Utes game with my Dad! That was so much fun because it was a Bowl Game in Texas! Grandma, I loved it when you would take me to the mall and ride the merry-go-round and when you,me and Cami would play fun board games together. I also love that you buy us yummy treats when you visit. Thank you so much for all the fun trips we went on together. I will always remember them. I love you guys so much! I am so glad you will be sealed with our family forever. Love, Seth
42: Dear Grandpa and Grandma, Happy 50th anavirsaray! I have had a lot of fun memories with you! Grandma, I remember when you and I would sit on the couch in the living room and read. Grandpa, I remember when we always played games with each other. I remember when the both of you came to Disneyworld with all of us and the Russell's. I had so much fun with you! I also remember all of the times you came to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family. We love having you over for holidays. You are so kind to everyone you meet! I am so glad that you joined our true church. I love you so much! Love, Cami | Camille Edwards was born on November 9, 2000
43: Fun Times Together
44: When Vicki was 8 years old, Ray and Jane finally decided to get a dog. When Vicki saw this adorable puppy it was love at first sight. They brought him home and decided to name him Nikki. What were they thinking? This proved to be difficult for both Vicki and Nikki because Vicki spent a lifetime responding when Ray or Jane wanted Nikki and vice-versa!! Nikki also loved Ray and whenever he came home from a trip. Nikki would greet him by running around the house before Ray could pet him. The rest of the family was very jealous. | Puppy Love | Nikki
45: The family even bought him his own Christmas stocking! | He would wait by the door for Vicki to get home from school every day. | Nikki was very protective of Brenda and didn't like it when Ray or Jane got upset with her!! | What an amazing dog! | He loved getting in the dirt and luckily loved getting a bath as well! | When Jane was pregnant, her and Nikki would both cuddle up on the couch and take a nap together everyday.
46: Toby | Taffy | This brother and sister joined the family after the loss of Nikki. These two brought double the fun and sometimes double the trouble! They each had health problems which were were managed with medicine. Taffy was full of energy and was definitely the Alpha to Toby, who was more calm and laid back than she was. They loved to play tug of war with each other and would sleep with Brenda every night. They were her buddies that would be waiting to play after school each day.
47: However, their idea of fun was probably much different than Brenda's! She loved photography and would use different props to dress them up. They would patiently allow her to compose the perfect portrait. They even cocked their heads on command to appear that they were posing!
48: Samantha | On a cold December night, Brenda found a stray cat on her doorstep. She made it a box with a heating pad and fed her, hoping that she would survive the cold. While Ray & Jane were visiting for Christmas,they decided to take it home to Las Vegas to a shelter that doesn't put cats to sleep. But the cat never made it there and has been part of the Woods family for the past 13 years where she enjoys being the most loved and cared for cat in the world!
49: Ray and Jane consider Roxy as part of the Woods family too. Whenever Vicki and Brent go out of town, Grandpa and Grandma come to doggy sit. They spoil her with 2 walks a day, belly rubs and lots of play time with the tennis ball. As soon as they return home to Las Vegas, Roxy goes behind the couch and pouts! | ROXY
50: "Home is where the Heart is"
52: FRIENDS FOREVER | It takes a long time to grow old friends!
53: MAKING MEMORIES
54: Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.
55: DEAR FRIENDS
56: Dear Ray and Jane, Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary! This book has given us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your lives and express our love and gratitude to the amazing parents and grandparents you are to all of us. For me, I want to thank you for your willingness to always be their to tend our children when I wanted to take Vicki on a trip. Your sacrifice has enabled Vicki and I to see the world! Those trips have brought us closer together as a couple and you have Grandchildren who know their Grandparents. You both are the kind of Grandparents that I am aspiring to become. I am so grateful for your decision to join the church and then take the necessary steps to be sealed to your daughters. When all is said and done, the basis of eternity is the family. Our circle is now complete. We are an Eternal Family! With all of my Love! Brent
57: Mom & Dad, Congratulations on reaching an increasingly rare milestone - the 50 Year Anniversary!! As parents you have always been there to help us. As newlyweds, your visits to our tiny cinder block apartment to leave extra groceries were like "manna from heaven". Your sacrifice to leave the comfort of your own home to live in a cramped basement in order to help us buy our first home is simply remarkable. What a blessing it was to have you around while I was working on my MBA and Brenda was alone with two small but precious toddlers! But one of the greatest joys of all has been the past couple years when at long last we witnessed the answers to our faith and prayers that you would be baptized and then be sealed in the House of the Lord for all eternity! May the Lord bless you for your goodness and the many kind things you do for your loved ones. We love you so much! Todd