Grass Valley couple celebrates 70 years of marriage |

Grass Valley couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

Sarah Hunter
Staff Writer
Lester and Darlene Bracken celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.
Sarah Hunter/

It was a big year in 1948.

The World Health Organization was formed by the United Nations, the first color newsreel was filmed in Pasadena, California, and two to-be Grass Valley residents got married. Their names are Lester and Darlene Bracken.

In Brunswick Village where the two reside, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this week, complete with guests, music and, of course, chocolate covered strawberries. Both of them were dressed up nice, sipping apple cider from flute glasses and laughing together.

“I could tell you so many stories, long stories, I remember so much,” said Lester. “We both went to the same church — I was out in the country, she was closer to the city. But the churches would gather and show off their talents and sing. She was the little girl who would bring requests up to the singers, and she had these big, thick round glasses. I remember that.”

Their paths would later cross when Lester went into the Army. While he was serving, his sister stayed at Darlene’s house, and asked her to write letters to him. Those letters became love letters, and they quickly got married.

Wednesday also happened to be Darlene’s birthday. “We got married when I was 17. This is only my 18th birthday!” Darlene joked.

“We’ve had our spats, everyone does, but we’ve made it work with the Good Lord’s grace,” Lester continued. “That’s what’s made it work. She’s forgiven me and I’ve forgiven her. That’s what today’s generations need to remember.”

Sarah Hunter is a University of Nevada journalism student and intern with The Union. Contact her at

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