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How sweet it is to be loved by you

Greenspring couple celebrates many years together at big bash on campus

Created date

April 24th, 2012

I knew when we met that we were meant to be, Bette Wright says of her husband, Ray. He was very different from the other boys I knew. I wanted to be with him all the time. And her wish came true. On Valentine s Day 2012, the couple celebrated 65 years of marriage with a celebration at Greenspring, the Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., where the two have lived since 2003. Ray speaks of his wife with the affection and exuberance of a young man in the throes of his first love. I know I am blessed to have Bette as my partner, he says. I thank God for this beauty every day of my life.

Time to celebrate

Ray and Bette s three children, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren are also extremely grateful to have this lovely couple in their lives. To help them celebrate their long marriage, the family planned a celebration worthy of 65 years. On February 18, 2012, 100 family, friends, and neighbors joined the Wrights at Greenspring s Hunters Crossing conference center for a fun-filled afternoon. As the wine flowed and the hot appetizers were passed around, the couple enjoyed sharing stories from their marriage and reconnecting with friends. It was lovely, says Bette. They thought of everything. I can t imagine a better day. Our daughter told us that everyone was absolutely delightful to work with. She received wonderful cooperation from the entire Greenspring community.

Uniquely their own

In addition to the wonderful people who came to celebrate with us, it was the thoughtful touches that really made the party special, says Bette. Each table held a photo of the couple and a gorgeous flower centerpiece in one of Bette s own silver vases, many of which have been handed down through generations. One of the vases was a wedding gift to my great-grandmother, she says. It meant a lot to me to have it there. The surprises just kept coming, says Ray. While I was a student at Virginia Tech, I sang with a quartet. My daughter got ahold of one of our recordings in which I had a solo and had her friends in Nashville clean it up and reproduce it onto a CD. All of the sudden, she played it for everyone at the party. That was really neat. Ray and Bette s family also put together a DVD filled with a kaleidoscope of photos from the couple s long marriage. Their favorite big band music accompanied the DVD, which played on a large projection screen during the celebration. The couple s great-grandchildren then passed out specially inscribed M&M favor boxes to all of the guests. It was a day we will never forget, says Ray. The best part was having all of our family with us, says Bette. I remember Ray saying during the party, Did we start all this? Yes, yes we did.

Words of wisdom

As the couple embarks on their 66th year of marriage, they admit they are often asked for the secret to a long union. That s easy, says Ray. The secret is communication. And it s especially important to know when to shut up. Bette shakes her head and smiles, admitting she has heard that one many times before. As you can see, she says, the real key to a long marriage is a sense of humor. It gets you through the good, the bad, and the everyday. And it s one of the many reasons why I love this man.