GLADSTONE - Gladstone residents Jerry and Dorothy VanDamme (formerly of Perkins) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Oct. 15.
Jerry VanDamme married the former Dorothy DeBacker Oct. 15, 1949, at St. Joseph Church in Perkins.
Maid of honor was Mary (VanDamme) Schmitt of Ellensburg, Wash., sister of the groom. Bridesmaids were Betty Lindstrom of Fall River, Mass., and Margaret (Lippens) VanDamme, both friends of the bride.
Dorothy and Jerry VanDamme, 1949
Dorothy and Jerry VanDamme, 2009
Best man was the late Pat DeBacker, brother of the bride. Groomsman was the late Francis VanDamme, brother of the groom.
A Mass was held at St. Joseph Church in Perkins Oct. 18, in honor of their anniversary. The mass also honored their parents, Jules and Clara VanDamme, and Emil and Eva DeBacker. Following Mass, a small family gathering was held at the home of the couple's son, Bob.
Jerry is a retired farmer, and Dorothy was a homemaker. Both are avid golfers who also love to spend time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They are members of St. Joseph Church of Perkins and the Terrace Bluff Country Club.
Jerry and Dorothy raised five children - Arthur (Paula) VanDamme of Naples Fla., Robert (Candee) VanDamme of Perkins, Carole VanDamme of Petoskey, Mark (Lisa) VanDamme of Idaho, and Theresa VanDamme (Troutman) of Tucson, Ariz.
They also have nine grandchildren - Casey, Eric, Bobbie Jane, Betsy, Faith, John and Brandon VanDamme, and Corey and Shannon Troutman, and six great-grandchildren - Madelyn, Clare, Bradley and Christian VanDamme, Abigail Klee, and Anthony Troutman.