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Donald and Bernice Reed


Donald J., known as Don, and Bernice M. (Jurcak) Reed celebrated their 60th anniversary at their home with family members. Their daughter, Donna, provided the food and a threetiered cake for the occasion.

While Don was home on leave from the Air Force, he learned that his former Kent State roommate, Jack, also was home from the Army. They double dated and Bernice was Jack's date that night. About six months later, Don was home again and called Bernice for news about Jack. She was in nurses training at the time, and they ended up spending about three hours talking in the visitors lounge. Don wrote Bernice a letter and that started a regular flow of correspondence between them. Six months later, Don received orders to change his base.

This gave him the opportunity to visit Bernice for a couple of days. At this point, they had been corresponding by mail for four months. Right before Don left for Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, he had a day-long date with Bernice which included meeting his parents.

That evening, he proposed to her and she accepted.

A December wedding was planned by mail and President Dwight Eisenhower made it possible by offering an early out for surplus personnel. Don applied for it and was released on Nov. 11.

They were married in Euclid, Ohio at Shore Haven Lutheran Church. On the date of their wedding, Dec. 5, 1953, it was a very stormy night. To make matters worse, the street in front of the church was dug for new sewer pipe installations. In addition, rain and muddy walk ways were an additional hindrance.

Despite all the obstacles, at 7:40 p.m., only 10 minutes late, Bernice was escorted down the aisle by her father, Frank. It was a real family affair as the officiating minister was the Rev. Harold Storm, Bernice's sister's husband. Her sister, Ruth, provided the vocal music.

Their honeymoon trip to the Pocono Mountains started about midnight.

Since it was off season, the entire week at the Mt. Airy Lodge cost only $135, which included room, meals, horseback riding, hiking, rifle and archery.

During their marriage, they have lived in Cleveland, Ohio; Hayward; Newark; and Cloverdale.

Don served in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves between 1950 and 1964. He was a police sergeant for 12 years in Oakland; along with Bernice, owned Reed Investigations, a private investigations company; and moved to Sonoma County in 1986 to manage Naco West Campgrounds in Cloverdale. Bernice was a registered nurse for 30 years, working in an operating room for 25 years and in a doctor's office for five years.

Family members include: daughters, Donna Cambra and Judith Whitfield of Cloverdale; and son, Robert Reed, of Fremont. They have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, with another due in March.

Over the years, they have journeyed to Baja, Mexico; Canada; from Vancouver to Toronto; and, after moving to California in 1958, traveled to see relatives and friends living in the east, and to school reunions. Their excursions were in a variety of modes, including by car, motor home, train and airplane.

As a veteran of the Korean War, Don put a lot of time into the Cloverdale American Legion Post during the past 20 years. Their daughter Donna, a retired Army nurse, and Don both have been commanders of the post. Bernice and daughter Judith were active when the post had an active auxiliary group.

Their secret for a long and happy marriage is as follows: "We respect each other's differences, opinions and know that if one is holding on to being mad or acting hurt, the best way to end it is to get that person to smile and laugh. Being best friends is another plus in this category, and wanting to grow old together was also part of the plan."