Bill and Connie Hurd of Claremore recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married Dec. 29, 1956 at Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Wharton, Texas. They met in Houston when he was attending Air Force navigation training and she was in nursing school.

For the next 20 years they were stationed in California, Texas and Maryland, with a three year tour in Japan. During this time they managed to raise five healthy children, with three of graduating from Surratsville High School in Maryland. The two youngest graduated from Claremore High School.

Bill retired from the Air Force in 1977 and they moved to Claremore with the intention of leading a life of leisure, but that didn’t last long. Both became active in church and community, and Bill worked at the Claremore Progress for over 20 years.

They have five children: Joe and wife Lisa of Foley, Ala., Nina and husband Terry Tolka of Colorado Springs, Colo., Becky Reaves of Tulsa, Mona and husband Keith Walkingstick of Claremore, and Ruth and husband Randy White of Knoxville, Tenn. They also have 11 grandchildren.

The Hurds were honored by their children at an early celebration in November and by their friends in December. The actual anniversary date of Dec. 29 was relatively quiet, with attendance at Mass, where they received a special blessing from Father Paul Eichhoff.