Willingham’s Celebrating 70th Anniversary
Mike and Juanita Willingham will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Sunday, September 9 at Huck Hall (Buzzard’s Roost) with an open house between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. No gifts please. Just join us in celebrating with the happy couple.
In 1947, Mike and Juanita (Bridgford) Willingham met at a box and pie supper at Sharp County School, a one-room schoolhouse where Juanita was teaching. This was after Mike returned from Japan and the Philippines after World War II ended.
They were married on September 10, 1948 by Ernest Jones at the minister’s home. Barbara Bridgford, sister of the bride, and Robert (Bob) Willingham, brother of the groom were in attendance.
Mike is son of the late Burl and Clara Willingham. Juanita is the daughter of the late Ralph and Minnie Bell Bridgford.
For their honeymoon they traveled to Hannibal and stayed in a hotel. When they returned their friends and family from Santa Fe and Molina gave them a Shivaree. During this ‘celebration’ the new couple’s bed was thrown out of the upstairs window and landed on a tree. Mike and Juanita hid in a fence line where Juanita got poison ivy.
They initially lived with Mike’s parents near Molina but the following March moved to their own home near Santa Fe. This home did not have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. They hung milk in a deep well to keep it cool. Their was also an ice box that could hold a hundred pound block of ice that was delivered.
When they married in 1948, Harry S. Truman was president. Their favorite song was You are My Sunshine. For entertainment, they would attend many area softball games and go to Molina or Santa Fe on Friday or Saturday nights to visit with family and friends. Mike drove a 1939 Chevy car and farmed with his father. Juanita worked at Peak School on Highway D west of Santa Fe.
In March of 1958, they purchased a family farm outside of Santa Fe where they have made their home for the last 60 years and still reside there. The farm has been in the family since 1905. During their time on the farm, they raised five children. They currently have 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Hope to see you at the 70th anniversary party.!
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