Richard and Margaret Baire — “Dickie” and “Nickey” to their friends and family — were married Feb. 3, 1951, at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Olean.
On Saturday at 4 p.m., the couple, who live in Duke Center, Pa., will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a Mass at St. Joseph’s Maronite Church.
The connection of the two churches is significant, says daughter Patricia Price. Her father is a member of St. Joseph’s — growing up, he lived right next door to the church formerly on North 4th Street — and her mother (the former Margaret Ducey) was a member of St. Mary’s when they were married. The wedding was at St. Mary’s, but Father Nemat-Allah Chemaly of St. Joseph’s was the celebrant.
Richard worked at Ethan Allen in Eldred, Pa. for 20 years until 1992. He also worked for Metropolitan Insurance, Crosby Dairy and the Blue Bird bus terminal and he was a co-founder and former owner of Baire’s Janitorial Service. He is a past president of the Eagles Club.
Margaret was a homemaker, raising four children — Michael (Sandy) Baire of Port Kent, the late Theodore Baire, Patricia (Rick) Price of Duke Center and John Baire of Chipmonk.
The couple have 11 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
When a grandson asked Richard what the secret of a long, happy marriage is, he replied, “Communication and commitment!”
Meanwhile, looking back 70 years provides a glimpse of what life was like in 1951. (Patricia helped us out with this.)
Harry S. Truman was president and the new United Nations headquarters was set to open in New York City.
Top movies of the year included “Showboat,” “The African Queen” and “An American in Paris.” The NBA champion that year was the Rochester Royals and direct-dial, coast-to-coast phone service was just starting.
The average yearly income was $3,510, the average price of a new home was $7,300, a postage stamp was 3 cents, a gallon of gas of 27 cents and a loaf of bread was 16 cents.