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High school sweethearts Elton and Betty Denner were married in October 1942 before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps

Newberg residents Elton and Betty Denner celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary this week.

After graduating from high school Elton, now 98, began studying engineering at Santa Ana College, but his education was interrupted when World War II broke out and he went to work for Douglas Aircraft.COURTESY PHOTO - Elton and Betty Denner celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on Oct. 15 in Newberg.

With military service imminent, the Santa Ana, California, natives and high school sweethearts were wed on Oct. 18, 1942. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps' pilot training program, becoming an instructor on single-engine planes and, eventually, B-29 bombers. In 1944, he was stationed on Tinian Island in the South Pacific. When the war ended, he transferred to a search and rescue group based in the Philippines, flying B-17 and B-29 bombers.

After the war the couple remained in California, where they raised two daughters and a son, and he became an architectural draftsman and started his own general contracting business. Betty, now 97, was primarily a stay-at-home mom, but did work in some medical offices as well as in a junior high school cafeteria.

The couple retired in 1980 and moved to Vida, near Eugene, then returned to California to be close to family before returning to Oregon to reside in Newberg at Brookdale Senior Community.

In addition to their three children, the couple have nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

The family held a celebration, with a reception, on Oct. 15 at Brookdale Senior Community.

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