Bill and Elizabeth Castillo Kirby recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple was married on Nov. 5, 1971, at the San Isidro Catholic Mission Church in Pueblitos.

Bill, who is retired, graduated from Belen High School in 1964, and The University of New Mexico in 1968 and 1972. He enjoys studying Spanish, collecting old New Mexico postcards, and gardening.

Elizabeth, also retired, is a 1964 Belen High School graduate, and went to UNM and earned a degree at New Mexico Highlands University in 1970. She enjoys handicrafts and painting and is a museum docent.

Their children are Todd and Shelley Young Kirby, of Dallas, Texas, and Mike and Pamela Kirby Blackwell, of Albuquerque. They have six grandchildren.

The Kirbys celebrated their anniversary during Thanksgiving 2021. All of their immediate family was together in Albuquerque as they gave thanks for 50 years of marriage, and, which is more important, that they shared 50 happy years with each other.

The first blessing they received as a couple was being married in the San Isidro Catholic Mission Church in Pueblitos. Fifty years ago, the current Our Lady of Belen Church was under construction, so they had the good fortune of being married at the very welcoming and smaller mission church. Catholic priest, Father Alex, and Presbyterian minister, Jay Hatch, officiated and offered communion to all who were present.

Last Saturday, Dec. 18, they enjoyed returning to their wedding church in Pueblitos, and celebrated Mass with the congregation. This created another very special memory for them.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.