Vernon, known as Vern, and Clare (Saccone) Bowen celebrated their 50th anniversary with a family dinner party at Ca Bianca Restaurant in Santa Rosa, hosted by their children.

They met on a blind dinner date at the Flamingo Hotel. After dating for a year, they were married on November 9, 1963, in Carmel. Clare moved to the area in 1952 from San Francisco and Vern moved from San Luis Obispo in 1961.

Vern served in the Army for two years, stationed in Texas. He worked as a commercial builder of medical facilities in Santa Rosa. Clare was a partner with Betty Mitchell in a Montgomery Village dress shop named Betticlare's and she also owned the Lion's Lair with her daughter, Teri White, in Montgomery Village.

Family members include: daughter, Linda Calegari, and her husband, Rodney, of Petaluma; daughter, Teri White, and her husband, Bob, of Valencia; son, Steve Bowen, and his wife, Cathy, of Carlsbad; and son, Scott Smith, of Sonoma. They have eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Clare loves to knit and volunteers at Memorial Hospital. Vern belongs to SIRS and a Bible study group, both in Oakmont. In addition, he is an avid golfer.

They traveled around the world on the Concord in 1993. Clare said of the trip, "It is the most exciting thing we have ever done." They travel back and forth to Palm Desert in the winter.

The couple said their secret for a long and happy marriage is to never go to bed angry and always kiss each other goodnight.