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Woodburn couple to celebrate concomitant 75th wedding anniversary and 95th birthdays

COURTESY OF KAREN KIRSCH - Marlin and Arlene Hammond of WoodburnFive years ago Marlin and Arlene Hammond had so much fun, they figured it is time for an encore.

The Hammonds are celebrating their 75th anniversary and 95th birthdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at the Country Meadows Independent Living Activities Room, 155 S. Evergreen Road, Woodburn.

COURTESY OF KAREN KIRSCH - Marlin HammondTheir official wedding anniversary is March 26.

Marlin Hammond and Arlene Coleman attended Woodburn High School together, but they did not know each other at the time, according to a 2013 Woodburn Independent report, which celebrated their 70th anniversary and 90th birthdays. They began dating after graduation and were married on Arlene's birthday in 1944. Their wedding took place at Methodist Church in Woodburn.COURTESY OF KAREN KIRSCH - Arlene Coleman

"On their 40th anniversary, my oldest sister, Ronda, told them they had to celebrate, because they might not live long enough to have a 50th," Marlin and Arlene's youngest daughter Karen Kirsch of St. Paul recalled.

Karen shared a glimpse at a "root" formation of the family tree, created by Marlin and Arlene's granddaughter, Kristin Justice of Portland. The root traced out 66 names, number 66 being Kristin's husband Tony, all of whom link back to numbers one and two, respectively, Marlin and Arlene. COURTESY OF KAREN KIRSCH - Marlin and Arlene Hammond. Marlin served in the Navy and was deployed in the South Pacific during a period of intense combat. Arlene would later recall the day the war ended, and realizing that 'something could have happened to my sailor between the last letter written two weeks before and the present.' When he returned home, she was releived; everything else seemed trivial. 'It showed me what really matters.'

Karen said her father grew up in Monitor, and he used to walk home from Woodburn High School athletic events.

"(Neighbors) would see him out there walking and give him a ride, but they would only take him as far as their house, not all the way home," Karen said. "I think all that walking and their years of gardening probably kept them healthy."

Five years ago Arlene attributed their long-lasting love and longevity to temperament and farm life.

"We're pretty happy with life and pretty happy with the world, I guess," she said. "(We had) humble beginnings…Living off of the garden and all of our fresh air and sunshine. And the work: we both had worked all our lives and enjoyed what we were doing. That makes a lot of difference."

Over the decades Marlin and Arlene raised four children and have subsequently enjoyed 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

The Sunday celebration event will include cake and coffee along with an open-house reception. The family invites old and new friends alike to stop in and visit.

They request that no gifts be offered.

COURTESY OF KAREN KIRSCH - Five generations: Marlin and Arlene Hammond of Woodburn pose with a daughter, Ronda; grandson, Ross; , great granddaughter, McKenzie; and great-great granddaughter, Addison.

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