John and Orlena (Burns) Leese of Sidney will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, with a reception hosted by their children.
The couple met through a blind date set up by Mr. Leese’s cousin’s wife, the late Jewel (Paul) Rice of Sidney.
They were married on Sept. 14, 1956, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Sidney by the Rev. Richard Ricard.
The bridal party included Esther (Averso) Wolven, a friend of the bride, who served as maid of honor and now lives in Michigan; John Laws of Sidney, who served as best man and is the adoptive brother of Mr. Leese; the groomsmen included the late Pete Meyer and the late Jack Bales, both of Sidney and both cousins of the bride; the late Ruth Meyer, cousin of the bride, played the organ.
A reception for the couple followed at the home of the bride’s mother, Rebecca Burns. They honeymooned for two weeks in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and in Kentucky.
Mr. Leese is a native of Somerset, Ky., and the son of the late Samuel and Lula (Prather) Leese; he is the “adoptive” son of the late Everett and Lula Laws of Sidney.
Mr. Leese is the brother of Carl, Luther, Charles and Henry Leese, all deceased, and the brother of Myrtle (Leese) Hudson, Lucille Leese, Ada (Leese) Jasper and Dean Leese, all deceased.
Mr. Leese is also the “adoptive” brother of Alberta (Laws) Campbell of Titusville, Fla.; John (Edna) Laws of Sidney; and the late Rev. Merle (Marlin) Laws of Sidney.
Mrs. Leese is a Sidney native and is the daughter of the late Charles and Rebecca Burns of Sidney.
The couple are the parents of three children, Kathy of Piqua; Kris (Leese) Pelphrey who passed away in 2010 and a son, John II, of Minster. They are the grandparents of Lindsay Pelphrey of Paintsville, Ky. and three great-granddaughters including Cailin, Annason and Lennox.
They also have a rescue dog, BJ, and a rescue granddog, Jackson.
John Leese was a 43-year employee of the former Miami Industries/Copperweld in Piqua, where he was the 13th employee ever hired at the plant.
Orlena Leese worked at the former Ohio Telephone Company, later known as United Telephone Co., and later at First National Bank, which then became Star Bank.
The couple attended the First Church of God in Sidney (now Connection Point Church of God) for nearly 50 years, where Mr. Leese served on the church board and taught Sunday School. Orlena Leese also worked on the benevolence committee of the church, edited the church newsletter and taught Sunday School.
Mr. Leese accepted Christ in 1962 while attending the First Church of God when it was located on West Avenue in Sidney. Mrs. Leese is also a Christian and the couple say that their faith in Christ is the reason for their many years of a successful and loving marriage.
The couple have attended Snyder Road Church of God in Piqua for 10 years.
Mr. Leese is a 50 year member of Temperance Masonic Lodge of Sidney and also attended meetings at Stokes Lodge in Port Jefferson. He is a lifetime member of the Valley of Dayton Scottish Rite; was a Dad Advisor for the Order of DeMolay and the recipient of the Legion of Honor for DeMolay and was a two-time Master of Temperance Lodge.
Mr. and Mrs. Leese are members of Pleiades Chapter Order of Eastern Star, where Mr. Leese served as the Worthy Patron.
Mrs. Leese served as a Girl Scout leader for several years in Sidney.
The couple have enjoyed traveling through the years, including visiting all 48 states except Hawaii and Alaska and have visited several provinces of Canada. They have visited several of the states many times and especially enjoyed visits back to the Smoky Mountains and Cade’s Cove.
The couple enjoy gospel music and Mr. Leese enjoyed woodworking, while Mrs. Leese has had pen pals she has written to for over 70 years. She is also a member of the Thursday Chatterers Club, a group of women, many of whom have been friends since childhood.
Mr. Leese is currently waging a courageous battle against cancer and other illnesses.
The couple will celebrate their anniversary with an open house for family and friends hosted by their children on Sunday, September 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Springfield Masonic Community, 2655 West National Road in Springfield at the Lindner Community Center in Meeting Rooms A and B.
Their children invite all family, friends and those who have worked with them through the years to attend the celebration.