Lewis and Elma McGonagle of Shady Cove celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Nov. 5 with a potluck dinner, karaoke and cake at the Upper Rogue Community Center in Shady Cove.
Hosts of the event, with 65 guests attending, were their daughters, Lyn Rogers and Laura Lee.
Lewis McGonagle married Elma Van Horn on Oct. 12, 1950, at a Four Square Church near Jackson Street in Medford, where Interstate 5 now runs.
Elma was born in Sunnyside, Wash., and her family moved to the Rogue Valley in 1932. Lewis, better know as "Duke," was born in a two-story house in Central Point. The couple first met when they were 3 or 4 years old.
Elma's oldest sister was married to one of Duke's cousins. As the years went on, they ran into one another at school events. Then they attended the same church and started dating. Elma's dad would not let her date anyone who didn't go to church.
After marrying, they lived in several places in the valley. Eventually, they bought a small cabin with acreage in Merlin, where they built a beautiful two-story home. The acreage became a farm, with cows, chickens, pigs, horses and a huge garden.
Louie worked as a spreader-man at the Robert Dollars Glendale Plywood plant in Glendale. Elma was a homemaker who also packed pears seasonally.
In 1971, they sold the place and bought a commercial salmon trawler and moved to Brookings, where they fished for more than 35 years before selling the boat "TAKLI" and moving back to the Rogue Valley to retire in Shady Cove. When they retired and sold the boat, they were the oldest fishermen team still fishing. They loved that life and have tons of stories and photos of the awesome adventures of commercial fishing.
They now enjoy family and friends here in the Rogue Valley. Louie enjoys sport fishing with his son and son-in-law, and Elma is getting in a lot of reading and spends time with her two sisters, who also live in the Rogue Valley.
The McGonagles have four children, Timothy McGonagle of Medford, Lynette Rogers of Brookings, James McGonagle of Portland and Laura Lee of Shady Cove. They also have 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.