Sixty years and counting

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fred Woodward came over to fix a water pump at a neighbor’s house — that’s when he noticed Betty Maynard.

The young woman was a babysitter for the neighbor’s two young children. She was sitting outside. Fred, just out of the Navy, was instantly smitten.

“She was sitting there. Enjoying a Miller High Life and smoking a cigarette,” said Fred.

One week later, Betty broke up with her boyfriend.

“Once I got to know him, everything fell into place,” she said.

Two years later, in 1957, they were married.

On Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. at 508 Route 202 in Rindge, Fred and Betty’s son and three daughters are hosting a public gathering to celebrate Fred and Betty’s 60th wedding anniversary (and Fred’s 85th birthday).

The couple, who were born and raised in Dublin, said the secret to their enduring relationship is communication.

“(We) talk about everything. Everything. I mean everything,” said Betty.

Over the years, the couple has done almost everything as a team.

They went snowmobiling and boating together. They were both part of the Dublin Fire Department (Fred as a volunteer and Betty as an auxiliary member). Every year, they spend their winters in Florida.

The couple also boasted about their close-knit family, one that has been there for Fred, when he had his pacemaker installed, and for Betty, when she had a heart valve replaced. Fred said that he’s a hugger — something he’s passed on to his children.

“They taught us how to love — how to love people and our family,” said daughter Joanne Jones, who lives next door to her parents.

Daughter Tina Woodward is hosting the event July 15. The couple’s son Danny, is coming from Wisconsin to take part in the festivities.

”Sixty years, that is like unheard of today,” said daughter Sarah Sangermano, who came by her parents’ house Tuesday to drop off chocolate chip cookies from the Dublin General Store, where she works.

The Woodward children have celebrated their parents’ love before, but this years’ party will be different. Fred and Betty are renewing their vows and bringing back members of the original wedding party: Fred’s brother and Betty’s cousin.