Loren and Melba Gilliland celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Feb. 22.
They met at a nursing home in December, went on their first date in January, were engaged by the end of the month and were married in February. Loren had finished serving four years in the Navy in 1947 and Melba was attending nursing school. Both were 20 years old when they were married in Quincy, Ill., on Feb. 22, 1948. The ceremony was held in a Methodist parsonage with a handful of family members present.
When they couldn't find a house for sale, they moved in with Loren's parents for the first three months. They owned two homes before moving to the country where they raised three-quarter an acre of strawberries. They moved to Olathe in 1994.
Loren enjoyed hunting and horses; Melba was active in the women's auxiliary.
They have three children, Cassandra Oenning, Gregory Gilliland and Michelle Gilliland. They also have four grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
They celebrated their anniversary Feb. 24 at the Delta First Baptist Church.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.