Cliftons celebrate 72nd anniversary

   By Marlys Good

It was on a beautiful day, Aug. 19, 1951, when Roy James Clifton, Jr. and Delores “Dee” Bratton joined hands and exchanged wedding vows in a ceremony held at the Episcopal Church in Sheridan.

The couple had met on a blind date, set up by a friend of Dee’s. “We probably went to a movie,” she recalled.

They were attracted to each other—“He was good looking for one thing,” Dee said with a laugh—and shared a lot of the same interests, but it wasn’t an immediate take. When they started “serious” dating, Dee had to be reminded by a friend what the young man’s first name was. She was attending college in Colorado, and Jim, who knew he was being drafted, jumped the gun and joined the Air Force. He was home on leave when they married in 1951.

The couple lived in Portland, Ore., where Jim was stationed. During his four years of service, he spent a year in Korea. After he was honorably discharged, the couple returned to Greybull where Jim went to work for the railroad. He had a stint at the bentonite plant before returning to the railroad, where he spent 49 years of his career.

Dee worked for Oscar Shoemaker at his florist shop for a short time but “retired” to become a stay-at-home mom to their sons, Michael, who lives in Big Horn, and Jerry, a Greybullite.

The couple raised their family in the Greybull Heights, where they also cared for Arabian horses. They raised, rode, trained and showed them with a devotion for the animals and a love for the life they had on their acreage.

Jim and Dee’s love of horses and the outdoors has always been a common bond that has strengthened their marriage through their life together. They also share a love of traveling, enjoying summers in the shadow of the Wyoming mountains and spending winters in warmer, sunnier climes.

Now they spend their time in Greybull, near their sons and three grandchildren, who get lots of attention.

Both agree that it’s been a great life, and they have been blessed with the love and companionship they’ve shared for 72 years.

The couple will be the guests of honor at a 72nd anniversary party held Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Greybull Elks Club at 6 p.m.  The Elks are providing the main dish and dessert. Those who would like to bring salads and side dishes are welcome to do so.

In addition to the couple’s 72 years of marriage, the celebration will also recognize Jim’s 69 years of Greybull Elks membership.