The couple, which married June 14, 1942, received gifts commemorating the 70-year milestone, as well as letters of congratulations from President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and from Gov. Jerry Brown. The Sharps shared old photos and good memories with those in attendance.
The couple both came to California with their parents in 1935 during the Great Depression — Duane from Missouri and Betty from Oklahoma. The families lived in various towns before settling in Grayson, where the pair met. They began dating, which usually meant attending the local weekend dances.
The Sharps began their married life together June 14, 1942. They have three children, Richard, Frank and Carol, and 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
They made their first home in Richmond, where Duane Sharp found work in the shipyards. World War II began soon after, and he joined the Army. During that time, Betty Sharp stayed with her in-laws, Emmett and Bessie Sharp, in Grayson.
After Duane Sharp was discharged from the Army, the couple settled first in San Francisco and then San Jose. Duane Sharp worked in the moving industry with such companies as Beacons and Neville Bros. and retired in 1981 after 42 years with those companies. Betty Sharp also worked during her married life for McCall Pattern Co., J.C. Penney Co. and the Paul Masson Mountain Winery. Her last years of employment were in production quality control in the electronics industry, from which she retired in 1980.
The Sharps enjoy socializing, camping, fishing and traveling. For many years, they spent time each summer at Clark Forks in the Stanislaus National Forest, a favorite campground. Family is a priority for the couple, who often traveled to their native states to visit relatives.
The Sharps moved to Modesto when they retired, but following the death of Duane Sharp’s mother, they returned to the family home in Grayson.