The suggestion for a 60th anniversary gift is a diamond. The Internet just stops giving suggestions for ways to mark the years after that – but that didn’t stop John and Dorothy Artz’s family from celebrating the occasion.
On May 21, the 66th anniversary for the Oak Forest couple, their children collaborated on a sign and drive-by parade of neighbors and well-wishers outside their home on Du Barry Lane.
“They were surprised,” daughter Emily Wilkins said. “They kept asking who that was that was honking. We just told them ‘the neighborhood.’”
Wilkins said her parents’ house has flooded four times since they have lived there.
“(With) the last flood (from Hurricane) Harvey (in 2017), several neighbors they had never met came to help get their house back together,” she said. “So they are well aware of how awesome our neighborhood is.”
Heights natives and graduates of Reagan High School, John and Dorothy met on a blind double date – with other people. Dorothy left her purse in John’s car so he would have to bring it back to her.
They got married at St. Michaels Episcopal Church, now Hope Episcopal, on Chantilly Lane and West 43rd Street.
“In the parish hall as the sanctuary was not yet built,” Wilkins said.
When asked what the secret was for a long-lasting marriage, John said that first you have to have a good wife.
“And you have to live long enough,” he added.