Stonington couple married 50 years

STONINGTON – Wayne and Joy Large will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 23 in Gladstone with family and friends. They will then celebrate in Door County, Wis., from June 26-28 with their immediate family.

Wayne Large married the former Joy Grossnickle were married in Kalamazoo on June 23, 1963.

The son of Curtis and Pearl Large, Wayne grew up in Detroit and graduated from Redford High School. Joy, daughter of Edwin and Fern Grossnickle, grew up in Elgin, Ill., but graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School. The couple met at Western Michigan University the next year and dated throughout college, marrying the week of Joy’s graduation in 1963. Wayne went on to Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree in 1966. During those years Joy taught music and then secondary English in the Dallas Independent School District. Following Wayne’s graduation, they lived for a year in Germany, where Wayne did post-graduate study at the university in Tuebingen. Joy taught English in a German boys’ high school.

When they returned to the United States, Wayne served as a United Methodist pastor in Newberry, Hulbert, and Paradise, Mich., from 1967-1970. He then served as a youth pastor in Midland from 1970-1974, served Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone from 1974-1981, was chaplain/director of the United Methodist student ministry at the University of Michigan from 1981-1995, served as senior pastor of Farmington First United Methodist Church from 1995-2001, and was associate pastor at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church from 2002-2003. Wayne completed his doctor of ministry degree from Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit in 1997.

Joy taught fifth-grade in Newberry from 1967-1968, gave private piano lessons from 1974-1981, substituted in Gladstone Public Schools and taught German at Bay College from 1978-1981, taught German at the University of Michigan as she completed her M.A. degree there in German from 1981-1983, and taught German, English, music and social studies in the Plymouth-Canton School District from 1983-2003.

The Larges are parents of three children: Kristin (Don) Chamberlain of Canton, Mich., born in 1968; Curtis (Anne) Large of Washington, D.C., born in 1969; and Craig (Stephanie) Large of Newhall, Calif., born in 1971. They have six grandchildren: James and Henry Large; Paul, Joy and Grace Chamberlain; and Madeline Large. All of the children and grandchildren come to Stonington each summer for a week of fun on Lake Michigan. Lucky, Wayne and Joy’s Labrador retriever, is a constant source of entertainment.

Since retiring, Wayne and Joy moved back to the Upper Peninsula and renewed friendships with many old friends. They have had the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer mission trips to Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, Hurricane Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans, and a mission school in Bolivia. Joy taught English in a university in Harbin, China, and they both worked twice in a mission in Nicaragua.

The couple enjoy all kinds of travel, both national and international, and especially like visiting their children and grandchildren. At home, they are active in Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone.

In addition, Wayne enjoys singing in the Remnants Barbershop Chorus and Joy continues volunteering weekly in an elementary classroom, both in Escanaba and Mesa, Ariz. She also enjoys friends in PEO, Coterie and a Stonington coffee group. Both of them enjoy biking, hiking, swimming, boating and birding.