September 27, 2017
It is a rare opportunity to celebrate 72 years of marriage in our church family, and this week is one of those special times. Ray and Betty Whipps will be married 72 years on September 29. It is a privilege and a gift to have them as mentors and to realize the impact of their influence.
Ray and Betty have an amazing life journey story. You can read it in the book, ’TIL WE MEET AGAIN – A MEMOIR OF LOVE AND WAR. Keep in mind that the “war” is not about their marriage! If you have not read the book, I hope you will.
From the book cover, “Ray and Betty Whipps both served in Europe during World War II: Ray as an infantryman under General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris, and Belgium; and Betty as a field nurse in Cherbourg, France. They met when Betty tended to Ray after he was injured during a fiery exchange between US and German Troops in Hurtgen Forest. As Betty nursed Ray back to health, the two bonded over their shared faith and soon fell in love. Before he was released from the hospital, Ray proposed, and they vowed to marry after the war.”
I will not tell you the rest of the story, except to say that Ray was captured and endured brutality and starvation, and “the only thing that kept him alive was the dream of someday reuniting with Betty.” I promise you will be captivated and at times brought to tears as you read their story of survival and eventual reunion.
Now we are celebrating their lives after 72 years of marriage. It was a privilege for Carol and me to live next door to them nearly 40 years ago, and now we have the joy of them being in our church family. Their commitment to Jesus, love for their family, concern for everyone and desire to show a positive outlook on life make them an inspiration and a gift.
Ray and Betty – CONGRATULATIONS! Thanks for being our friends. We love you.
Pastor Bill and Carol