Fred and Mary Ritter Sturman celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Monday, March 28, 2011, with friends and family at Solid Rock Bible Camp, in Sterling.
The couple are longtime residents of Soldotna.
Fred Sturman, of Gruver, Texas; and Mary Ritter, of Guymon, Okla.; met on a blind date set up by mutual friends. They were married March 31, 1961 in Guymon.
The couple lived in Oklahoma and Texas until Fred drove a truck up the Alaska Highway in 1965 for a friend to Seward. He decided to stay and work at the local sawmill. A few months later Mary and their children joined him in Soldotna.
Fred worked for Conoco Phillips, did various construction jobs, and in 1972 the family purchased a commercial set net site in Nikiski that the family still fishes today. In 1977 Fred also bought a drift boat named the Shadee Lady that he continues to drift from.
The couple's children are Carl, who passed in 1993; Cathy, who lives in Soldotna with her three girls Caitlin, Jaida and Carly; and Steve and wife Tesa, who live in Kenai with their children Seth, Colby, Brett and their newest addition, Gage.
The family wrote, "Mom and Dad -- Congratulations on 50 years of marriage! Thank you for establishing a legacy of love and hard work within our families. For being an example in how to face difficulties and always showing us how family sticks together. We are forever grateful for you bringing our family to Alaska and for your generosity to us."
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