Warren and Jody Sperry of Paris will mark their 50th wedding anniversary Friday, Aug. 17.
Jody Dearth, a freshman, and Warren Sperry, a junior, went on their first date in January 1963 to a Vandalia High School basketball game. They officially started going steady in February 1963.
Warren Sperry graduated from Vandalia in 1964 and began attending Eastern Illinois University where he began working toward a degree in music education. Jody Dearth graduated from Vandalia in 1966 and followed him to EIU. The couple became engaged in August 1967 while they both were still in college.
The couple was married Aug. 17, 1968, at the Vandalia United Methodist Church. Their best friends from high school were the maid of honor and best man — Rebecca “Becky” Holliday and Bruce Banister.
They had only a long weekend to honeymoon in the Smokey Mountains because he was hired as the new band director at Mayo Middle School. After the PHS director Roger Maulding accepted a position at Kent State University, Warren Sperry, 22, was promoted to PHS band director and the rest, as they say, is history.
The couple has resided in Paris all of their married life and are the parents of three children — Marty born in May 1970; Adam born in February 1972 and Emily born in September 1976. Marty (Tish) reside in Westfield, Ind.; Adam (Kim) live in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Emily (Daren) reside in St. Louis, Mo. There are five grandchildren — Rhiley Sperry, a freshman at Butler; Parker and Nora Sperry and Ella and Tate Kest.
The family gathered in Vail, Colo., in late July for a Sperry Colorado Adventure including a Jeep tour, water rafting, zip line, tubing, ropes course, spoons and a million belly laughs.
Following the family get together, the couple traveled to Park City, Utah.
The couple resides at 320 E. Crawford in Paris.