Gwen and Claude Curran of Ashland celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family reunion at Emigrant Lake July 1, 2012. Sixty family members attended from Northern and Southern California, northern Idaho and as far away as New Hampshire. The youngest in attendance was 22 months old, Annora Mannix, and the elder stateswoman was Gwen's mother, Melba T. Bailey, born in 1915 in Attalla, Ala.
Claude Warren Curran, then of Corning, Calif., married Gwendolyn Dolores Bailey of Durham, Calif., July 1, 1962, in a garden wedding at the home of Gwen's parents in Durham. They met in 1959 while enrolled at Chico State College. They both graduated in 1961. Gwen earned her bachelor's degree in home economics and a special secondary credential. Claude earned his bachelor's degree in social science with an emphasis in geography. He earned a master's degree in 1963 and a doctorate in geography in 1973 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
Gwen taught home economics and girls physical education at Yuba City High School and at Castro Valley High School, both in California, and girls physical education at Ashland Junior High School. She retired from full-time teaching in 1965, although she substituted in Rogue Valley schools for several years. Claude taught one semester at Sacramento State and one year at Chico State. The remainder of his teaching career spanned 39 years at Southern Oregon University.
Gwen was a full-time homemaker and the mother of their three daughters: Kirstin Cronin (Tom) of Ashland; Mardiss Madden (Mike) of Santa Paula, Calif., and Kasia Mannix (Seamus) of Ashland. They have eight grandchildren: Hayley, Kelsey and Lilly Cronin; Taylor, Sean and twins, Aidan and Scott Madden; and Annora Sky Mannix.
Gwen volunteered for a number of years as a trainer for the American Cancer Society's Reach to Recovery, an educational support program for women diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. She helped conduct training programs in a six-county area in Southern Oregon.
The couple greatly enjoy traveling the West with their Ford F-350 crew-cab truck and fifth-wheel trailer; deer hunting in Oregon, California and Montana; fishing, hiking, gardening, picking up rocks and pine cones; enjoying and appreciating the wonderful marvels of the State of Jefferson and playing games they can't win with their grandchildren.