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59 years of Love and Counting

Patty and Bill Shirley celebrate Bill’s 80th birthday in June after nearly six decades of being together.

Nothing is more important than family and friends, especially as the holidays approach. For Bill and Patty Shirley, another special date is coming: a 59th wedding anniversary.

The Shirleys grew up in Colorado – Bill attended West High School and Patty, Lincoln High School. In the summer of 1963, fate stepped in.

“Bill drove up in his new Corvette to pick up his sister from where we worked,” Patty said. “We saw the cute boy in a brand new car, and my friend was disappointed it was her brother – but I was surprised,” said Patty.

The couple began a whirlwind romance, and subsequently Bill landed a job in California. “He asked me if I wanted to get married Sunday – I thought he said ‘someday,’ so I said yes,” recalled Patty. It was a serious proposal and the couple married six months after their first meeting.

After the wedding, they moved to California but missed Colorado and returned the following year.

Bill owned and operated the Standard Fence company from the late 1960s to the 1980s, before the couple moved to Boston and then Dallas. They stayed in Dallas from 1993 to 2008 and then returned to their home state.

Throughout the years, the Shirleys raised their children, two daughters and one son, and are proud grandparents to nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

“It’s been nice to grow old together,” Patty said. She said there is no “worst” part of marriage, but struggling to make ends meet along the way was tough. “We knew it would be okay, so we laughed at it and moved on.”

“I think having a good sense of humor has been important,” Bill added. “There was a chemical attraction right away, but we’ve had the same goals on raising a family and growing old together.”

Today, nearly six decades later, the couple is retired to their beloved home, close to family and friends. They enjoy the sunshine and neighborhood golf courses.

“Our 59th anniversary is the day after Christmas, so we’ll probably just go to dinner quietly,” Patty said. “We cherish our marriage together, are very proud Colorado natives, and we truly love living in Castle Pines!”

By Claire Bauer, RCHS intern writer; photo courtesy of Bill Shirley




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