Gafners married 65 years

ESCANABA – A reception hosted by the children of Charles and Patricia Gafner, marked the couple’s 65th wedding anniversary. The reception was held at the Elks Club in Escanaba. A celebratory Mass was held at St. Joseph-St. Patrick Church in Escanaba.

Charles and the former Patricia Willette were married on Oct. 2, 1948, at All Saints Church in Gladstone.

Attending the bride were: a cousin, Beverly Gafner Peterson, and friends, Elaine Schram Gorlitz and Anne Quinn Daley. Roberta Watson was the flower girl. Standing with the groom were his friends, Leon Gravelle, Donald Lewis, and James Douglas. Ring bearer was James Sabourin.

A Korean War veteran, George served in the U.S. Air Force and later worked as manager and district manager for the Red Owl Stores for 35 years until his retirement in 1992. He is a member of the Elks Club, AMVETS, Knights of Columbus, Moose Lodge and is vice president of the Hockey Association of Ironwood. He also played softball for 30 years.

Patricia was primarily a homemaker and worked part-time at the Eat & Treat for 15 years. She is a member of the Red Hat Society, and enjoys playing bridge, sewing, quilting, knitting, and Swedish hand-weaving.

The Gafners are both members of St. Joseph-St. Patrick Church.

The couple are the parents of eight children: Lynn (Jim) Soderberg, David Gafner, and Jim (Chris) Gafner, all of the Escanaba area; Edward (Chris) Gafner of Shawano, Wis.; Karen (Mark) Gardipee and Laura Richards of Grand Rapids; Paula (Ron) Kreiter of Sterling Heights; and Peter (Debra) Gafner of Ham Lake, Minn.

They also have 20 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Providing entertainment for the anniversary reception were George and Marie Peterson and the Bright Spots.

In addition to the anniversary, the family celebrated the birthdays of the couple’s son and granddaughter, Peter Gafner and Ruth McBerkowitz. Special guests were, Beverly Peterson, a cousin, and Patricia’s sisters, Suzanne and John Chansler of Lewistown, Mont., and Mary Carrington of Escanaba.