Wedding Day

Gary and Shirley Eaton prepare to cut their wedding cake on June 23, 1950.

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Gary and Shirley Eaton agreed that simply talking together is one key element of their long-lasting 70 year marriage.

This week the two are celebrating their wedding day Tuesday, June 23.

They grew up together in the St. Helens area, separately attending local elementary and high schools and finally began a courtship that blossomed into marriage.

Shirley said one main element has kept the two together for so many years.

“Probably love mostly,” she said. “And we think alike and like the same things.”

Gary agreed and added, “We just took it easy and it just happened.”

Gary’s advice to new married couples is brief and to the point.

“Be patient and behave yourself,” he said.

Shirley said communication is the key to a successful marriage.

“Do a lot of talking together,” she said. “Spend time doing things together. You have to work at it. It doesn’t always come easy. You can work it all out after awhile.”

The couple have three sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Gary established Eaton’s Tire and Service Center on Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens in 1977. Their son Rick took over the business in 1995. The family sold Eaton’s about five years ago, Gary said.

St. Helens resident Alan Holinbeck contributed to this report.

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