June 24, 2010
(BUTLER, PENNSYLVANIA) – Many of us do not get to celebrate certain milestones in our lives, but 60 years of marriage – to the same person – is a milestone that needs to be celebrated and applauded. From the moment Peg Dumbaugh exited the elevator today and saw her husband, Wilbur – a hospice resident at VA Butler Healthcare - it was plain to see the love and devotion that has endured between them for 60 years. Not wasting a moment, Peg immediately greeted her husband with “Happy Anniversary honey!” and a kiss.
To help the couple celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss, VA Butler hosted a special lunch for Wilbur and his wife, complete with music, balloons and a special wedding cake. “This is a once in a lifetime moment and we wanted to make today special for them,” comments Barb Taylor, Recreation Therapy Specialist for VA Butler Healthcare. The couple’s daughter provided roses and an anonymous resident donated a flower basket to the celebration.
Peg and Wilbur met at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and it “was love at second sight” commented Wilbur. “Peg was dating my roommate at the time and when that didn’t work out, I asked him if he would mind if I could date her and we’ve been together since.” A year after Wilbur graduated college, he and Peg were married on June 24, 1950, at the Wilson Presbyterian Church in Clairton, Pennsylvania. “We didn’t repeat our vows from the priest, we memorized them and I can still recite them today” replied Peg.
For 70 years, Wilbur worked for and then managed the family business, Dumbaugh Electric, in Butler. Wilbur took time away from the business to serve in the Army-Air Forces 5th Command for almost 2 years. Peg worked as a teacher, and then in 1982, left teaching to become a free lance journalist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
When asked what their secret was to a long and happy marriage, Wilbur immediately said “I don’t talk much.” He then added that it’s also best to just say “yes dear.”
Peg offered a different point of view stating that the secret to their happy marriage is that they enjoyed each other’s activities and genuinely enjoyed being with each other. “In my generation, when you got married it was a commitment, we took it seriously. Not the same for some of today’s couples. Also, if you want to have a long and happy marriage, you have to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at each other.”
VA Butler Healthcare, located on a scenic wooded 88-acre campus in the heart of Butler County, Pennsylvania, is the provider of choice for over 17,000 Veterans throughout Western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio. VA Butler, a member of VA Healthcare-VISN 4, provides primary care, specialty care, mental health and social support services to Veterans at its main campus and serves a rural Veteran population through community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) in Armstrong County, southern Butler County (Cranberry Township), Clarion County, Lawrence County, and Mercer County. VA Butler Healthcare has over 6OO employees and volunteers dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of America’s heroes, now and in the future. For more information about VA Butler Healthcare, and links to special programs and initiatives, interested persons can log onto http://www.butler.va.gov”. Media queries and requests should be directed to David Virag at (724)-285-2576 or David.Virag@va.gov.