WEDDING ANNIVERSARY - Gerald and Carol Stiller

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Gerald and Carol Stiller were greeted with a surprise 50th wedding anniversary dinner at Hong's Cafe in Milton-Freewater on Dec. 27. The couple's children arranged the party for family, friends and neighbors when they heard their parents had planned a quiet evening and Chinese dinner.

The Stillers met at the Milton-Freewater Totem Bowl bowling alley in July 1960 and wed Dec. 27, 1960, at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Portland. Carol's maiden name is O'Neel.

Gerald, a native of Milton-Freewater, was a teacher for 34 years and began hobby farming in retirement.

Carol was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and spent her early years there and in Florida. She was on a summer break from Lewis and Clark College when she and Gerald met. She was a 4-H club leader for 30 years and worked in Milton-Freewater and at Walla Walla High School as a bilingual instructional aide. She retired in 1997 and helps with the farming.

The Stillers have four sons, Ward Stiller of Bluefield, W.Va., Wayne Stiller of Spokane, and Brian and Jason Stiller of Milton-Freewater; daughter Tanya Stiller of Berkeley, Calif.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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