70 years of wedded bliss

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Not 1 serious argument in all that time

By Chris McGinn

Bill Affonso and Vada Sharpe met at a Halloween party in 1947, sparking a relationship that has lasted more than 70 years.
The Sun City Carolina Lakes couple celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary June 26, a milestone reached by a small fraction of marriages. Bill is now 93, and Vada is 89.
In October 1947, Bill, a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific during the invasion of Guam, was working in operations at LaGuardia Airport for TWA.
Vada, originally from Blue Earth, Minn., was working in reservations for the airline.  
They met at the company Halloween party and married in June 1948.
The marriage of two airline employees began a life that included lots of travel over the decades, including visits to 29 countries and a round-the-world trip in the 1970s.
The first trip, however, was back to Vada’s hometown to meet her parents, followed by a stay at the then-famous Concord Hotel in the Catskills.
The couple eventually raised four children: Lee, Glenn, Janice and Patrice. Glenn lives in Sun City near his parents, and Patrice Gilgannon lives in Weddington, N.C. Lee is in Long Beach, N.Y., and Janice is the farthest away in the Netherlands.
When asked for advice on making a marriage last, Bill said, “Being respectful of each other is what it is all about.”
Vada said the couple hasn’t had a serious argument in all their years together.
“It’s been really smooth,” she said.
The Affonsos moved to Sun City in 2007 to be near Patrice and escape high taxes in the Northeast, Bill said. They have four granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.
To celebrate their anniversary, the couple had dinner with 10 neighbors at 701 Main in Waxhaw, as well as a family dinner with their local children.