Celebrations Spotlight: Elaine and John Wood
John and Elaine Wood celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 22, 2012. The couple has two children: John Wood III (deceased) and Renita C. Smith and three grandchildren: Jonathan, Jasmine and Jayla Smith. They reside in Penn Hills.
Q: How did you meet?
Elaine: I met John through a mutual friend at a friend's house.
Q: Where did you each grow up?
Elaine: I grew up in Braddock and attended Braddock Senior High School.
John: I grew up in Chicago and attended Schoop High School.
Q: Who proposed? How?
John: I proposed to Elaine at my work -- Budd Reid's Hat and Shoe Store on 4th Street in Braddock. I got down on one knee and proposed.
Q: Where were you married? Why did you choose that site?
Elaine: We were married at the home of the late Rev. Rabb and his wife on 6th Street in Braddock. We chose that site because we were very young, did not have much money and could not afford a wedding. Rev. Rabb also officiated our ceremony.
Q: Where was the reception and honeymoon? Why did you choose those sites?
Elaine: Our reception was at my aunt's house, the late Mrs. Mary Davis, who also lived on 6th Street in Braddock. We did not go on a honeymoon because we did not have the money. When we got married, I worked part-time at Braddock General Hospital as a tray girl and my husband worked at Budd Reid's shining shoes. We have come a very long way and have been truly blessed by God.
Q: What is your favorite wedding memory?
Elaine: I thank God that He blessed our marriage because people said that we were too young and our marriage wouldn't last. Fifty years later, we're still together.
Q: Do you still own ant of your wedding gifts? If so, what?
Elaine: I have an old ring that John gave me as a friendship ring.
John: I do not have anything.
Q: What is the secret to your successful marriage?
Elaine: I believe that marriage is a mix of give and take. It's important to listen and respect each other and not to be afraid to say "I'm sorry" and "I love you."
John: I think that you have to do things together and respect and support each other.
Q: What activity do you enjoy doing most as a couple?
Elaine: I like it when we go to church and then go out for dinner and sometimes a movie.
John: I like it when we go bowling together and when we travel to spend time with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
Q: How did you celebrate your anniversary?
Elaine: We renewed our vows at Unity Baptist Church in Braddock with over 300 people in attendance. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren were all a part of the ceremony. The reception was held at Olympia Hall in East Pittsburgh. It was a beautiful affair.
Any other details:
Elaine: I was truly blessed to have my dad, Deacon Luther Dupree, who is 101 years old, walk me down the aisle at our vow renewal.
First Published August 21, 2012 7:18 pm