The golden wedding anniversary of Arthur and Dorothy Chavez was celebrated at a surprise dinner at the Belen Recreation Center. The couple arrived in a limousine and were greeted by 200 relatives and friends.
Deacon Manuel Gallegos presided as the couple renewed their marriage vows. An enchilada dinner was served, and music was provided by Arthur’s nephew, Danny Sedillo. Claudia Baca, the couple’s original maid of honor, and her son, Jerry, were their witnesses. Tony Baca, the couple’s original best man, Jerry’s father, has passed away.
The couple were married on March 16, 1952, at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church.
Arthur is retired from Kirtland Air Force Base after 30 years. A veteran of the Korean War, he enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, traveling and spending time with his family.
Dorothy is retired from the cafeteria at St. Mary’s after 25 years. She enjoys her home and family, bingo and still makes her own tortillas.
The couple have eight children. They are Donna Goldkuhl and husband, Donald; Kathy Buero and husband, Kenny; Ronnie and wife, Teresa; Gene and wife, Dolores; Dean and wife, Liz; Peter and companion Bertha Baldonado; Hope and fiance, Brian Brechner; and Faith and companion Mike Padilla.
They have 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, with one on the way.
Out-of-town guests at the celebration included Dorothy’s brother and sister-in-law and nephews and nieces and Arthur’s sister and brother. A letter from their friends from New Jersey was read by the Chavezes’ oldest son. Kathy, their second child, read a letter she wrote entitled “Our Family.”
The couple were introduced by Arthur’s sister, Gregorita, more than 50 years ago.