John and Rita Neves
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:47 p.m.
John and Rita (Deghi) Neves celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a dinner party thrown for them by their friends Janet and Rich Questoni. They were invited over for pizza and to play cards, but instead they found themselves at a surprise party honoring their golden anniversary. Pizza was the appetizer, followed by a delicious tri-tip barbecue dinner.
They met through mutual friends and for their first date they went to dinner on the night Rita graduated from Santa Rosa High School. They dated for a year and then became engaged for two years before getting married on Oct. 6, 1962, at St. Rose Catholic Church.
John was born in Pico, Portugal, and came to the U.S. when he was 15. At 18, he moved to Santa Rosa from Oakland. Rita was born and raised in Santa Rosa. For 20 years, John worked for Rietz Manufacturing, in addition to raising Holstein heifers. Rita was a homemaker and also worked at Bellevue Union School for 26 years as an aide.
Family members include: son, Johnny, and his wife, Elizabeth, of Silverton, Ore.; and son, Joe, and his wife, Carolyn, of Eagle, Idaho. They have seven grandchildren.
John enjoys trail riding. He has helped with and participated in the Handicapped Horse Riding Program, which he became involved with after a spinal- cord injury. He also does trail maintenance with Sonoma County Horse Council; has been a member of Sonoma County Driving and Riding Club for 42 years; and is a member of the Petaluma Riding and Driving Club. Rita enjoys making friends and her year-round hobby of making homemade greeting cards. She also volunteers at the Sonoma County Driving and Riding Club.
They usually take trips to Oregon and Idaho in the summer to see their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
Rita’s advice for a long and happy marriage is good communication. She thinks it is really important to talk things over and pay attention to each other. She marvels that after being married 50 years, John is able to come up with anecdotes about his life she has never heard before, and she still delights in hearing every word he has to say.
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