Melvin and Charlene (Highland) Beaty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 24, 2013, by hosting a dinner for friends and family members at the Jacksonville Inn. They actually were married Sept. 6, 1963, in Medford but chose to celebrate their anniversary early so all their family could attend. They have two daughters, Shannon Beaty and Melissa Nelson, and two grandchildren, Chloe and Gavin Nelson.
In 1936, Mel's parents left Oklahoma intending to homestead in Alaska. On the way, however, they stopped at a mill on the Greensprings where his father found work and they stayed in Oregon permanantly. Mel was born in Klamath Falls, the closest city with a hospital.
Char was born in Marked Tree, Ark., but moved to Oregon in 1943 with her mother. Her father had enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Morro Bay, Calif. So she and her mother moved to Medford to live briefly with her grandparents before joining him. After World War II was over, they all returned to Medford. Her mother still lives on the same property the family bought in 1948.
Mel and Char met at Southern Oregon College in Ashland, where they were introduced by a mutual friend. After graduating from SOC in 1962, Mel worked for First National Bank in Ashland for five years. Then he went to work for the U.S. Forest Service in Medford, retiring in 1995. Upon graduation from SOC in 1964, Char began a career in education, working three years at Ashland High School and 34 years at Crater High School. She retired from Crater in 2001.
During their married life, Mel and Char have lived in Ashland and Medford. Their daughters were born in Ashland, but in 1977, they moved back to Medford. Both Shannon and Melissa graduated from North Medford High School. Today, both daughters live in Portland, so a big part of Mel and Char's retirement is spent traveling on Interstate 5 to regularly visit their daughters and their grandchildren.