Couples celebrate many years together

Published May 9, 2007

Clearwater's Howard and Catherine Englund were treated to such a random act of kindness on their wedding anniversary, they're still smiling about it.

While celebrating 25 years together with dinner at Arigato's Japanese Steak House in Clearwater on April 15, the Englunds found themselves seated next to a young couple who'd been married four years. Accompanying the young parents were their very polite 3-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son, who slept peacefully through dinner.

Amid pleasant conversation during the course of the meal, Howard mentioned that he and Catherine were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Later, much to the Englunds' surprise when attempting to pay for the meal, they discovered their young dinner mates had beaten them to it and covered their bill plus the tip.

Howard protested, but the anonymous young couple was adamant and would not change their minds. They complimented Howard and Catherine by saying, "It was so nice to see a marriage lasting 25 years!"

Howard tried to find out their identities, to thank them, but with no success. He and Catherine might never find out who they were, but as he put it, "I'd like others to know how special it is to receive such a gift by folks who expect nothing in return, and how their act of kindness on our anniversary will never be forgotten."

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Delano Wilhelm and Carole Louise Strachen of Palm Harbor celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 28. They were married at St. Augustine Church, Bronx, N.Y., on April 28, 1957.

The couple came to this area in 1990 from Fredericksted, St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before retirement, Delano was a U.S. Postal Service manager, and Carol was a department head in the respiratory therapy field.

Both attend St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church, Tarpon Springs, where Delano is a lecturer.

Since retiring in 1989, the Strachens have had the opportunity to travel and see friends and relatives, take cruises and host parties. Both enjoy dancing.

The couple have a son, Delano Anthony, and a daughter, Christl Patricia, and a grandson, Delano Guillermo.

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A party was held at Countryside Country Club on May 5 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Win and Jane Wordsworth of Clearwater. More than 100 guests were invited to the party, which was hosted by the couple's daughter and son-in-law, Melody and Jerry Figurski.

The couple married on June 8, 1957, in Hyannis, Mass., and came here in 1965 from Williamsville, N.Y. Before World War II, Win had a dance band and, in 1982, he played several stops with the Sammy Kaye tour in Florida.

Locally, the Wordsworths founded, owned and co-managed the Rain Thatch furniture stores for nearly 30 years.

They still summer on Cape Cod, and both are members of the Countryside Country Club and enjoy playing golf and bridge.

The couple has four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.