Russells celebrate 60th anniversary

May 29, 2011 

David and Penny Russell celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on May 26, 2011.

They were married in Indiana, Pennsylvania, in 1951. Their married life began with foreign adventure. David was drafted into the army while awaiting orders to report for Naval Officers Candidate School. The army sent him to Germany in 1952, assigning him to the 7th Army Engineer Aerial Photo Reproduction Company in Wiesbaden. Penny joined him a few months later. In 1953 their daughter, Cheryl, was born in the air force hospital in Wiesbaden. In 1954 they returned to Indiana, Pennsylvania â€" David by troopship, Penny and infant daughter by air.

Then life began in earnest. They had a son in 1956, also named David. They returned to school and earned their master’s degrees in education. In 1962 they moved to Sewickley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, taking jobs in the Quaker Valley School District. David taught social studies and economics. Penny taught art and pursued her career as a successful fine artist with many one-man shows, exhibits, and awards in the Pittsburgh area.

After a quarter century of teaching, they retired in 1986 and moved to a family farm in Dilltown, Pennsylvania. There, they became partners in the Dillweed Bed & Breakfast establishment and were instrumental in helping to create the Ghost Town Trail, a rails-to-trails project. Their generous donation of land to Indiana County became the Blacklick Valley Natural Area.

In 1999, David and Penny escaped the northern winters and moved to Beaufort. Here, they became founding members of the Unitarian Universalist church. Penny continues her work as a fine artist and has been an active member of the Beaufort Art Association. They enjoyed watching two of their grandchildren grow up in Beaufort. Both grandchildren have completed the circle and now live in Pittsburgh where their grandson, Sky, is a software engineer and their granddaughter, Julie, attends Carnegie Mellon University. Their third grandchild, Ali, is a graduate student at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

After 60 years of partnership, they remain devoted to one another, living proof of the power of love.

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