(Photo submitted)

Central Alberta couple celebrates 60th anniversary

They still laugh, hold hands, play crib and fish says daughter

By Emily Jaycox

For the Rimbey Review

After 60 years of marriage, although Jack and Irene Miller’s bodies may be starting to slow down, nothing about their love has faded with time.

“They still hold hands and they still have that sparkle in their eyes when they look at each other,” said their daughter Cathy Fadden, adding to look at them, you just know they worship each other.

Jack, 88, and Irene 82, of Bentley celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Nov. 5.

Due to COVID-19, there was just a small family gathering to mark the occasion. The couple went out to dinner in Lacombe with their children — Fadden, Fred, Linda and Dennis Miller — and Irene’s brother, Elmer Berg.

The pair still resides in their own home in Bentley, where they’ve lived for 20 years.

Although the quiet couple may not be well-known in Bentley, they’ve been central Alberta residents for 45 years, with ties in Lacombe and Ponoka.

And to their family, they are everything, and the epitome of what marriage should be.

Fadden says her parents are “absolutely” an example to her of wedded bliss.

“We learned through their examples the importance of strong morals and hard work, and that, no matter what, family comes first,” she said.

It’s a hard standard to live up to, but one the family cherishes.

What Fadden admires most about her parents is that they may become annoyed with each other, but they never allow it to turn to anger, she says.

They also have a strong sense of humour that carries them through their days, and brings a lightness to every-day situations.

“They’re comical, humorous and teasing each other all the time,” said Fadden.

When the couple met, Irene was living on a farm near Tees and Jack was in Summerland.

Fadden says they chuckle when they recall how they met playing ball.

Previous to living in Bentley, the couple raised their kids in Lacombe during their school-age years, residing there for 25 years. They also have family in the Ponoka area.

Fadden’s childhood was filled with family camping trips, and her parents still get out and enjoy nature, camping and fishing, even in their golden years.

Open Creek Dam is one of the couple’s favourite spots to fish close to home.

Almost every morning after breakfast, her parents play a game of crib.

In years past, they played competitively, and they still retain a love of the game and other board games and cards.

Every time the family visits, one game or another is pulled out, says Fadden.

When asked about any advice they could give to younger couples, Irene says to “always put the other first” and Jack says “don’t fight.”

“We truly won the lottery when it comes to parents,” said Fadden.

“There was always sincerity and understanding, love and laughter, cards and wilderness adventures.”