Simpsons celebrate 50th anniversary last Saturday

Larry and Dawn Simpson celebrated 50 years of marriage last Saturday evening with a celebration dinner and dance at the Van Horn Convention Center.

Also, the Mitchell family held a family reunion with many guests arriving from out of town town destinations.

This is the narrative (read by Jeff McCoy) that was recited at the event:

“We’re taking you back to the start of a great love story…
It started in the summer of 1962.  Larry Simpson met Dawn Mitchell for the first time.  It was love at first sight.  Larry asked Dawn to marry him that October.  That same year another magical thing happened…the first Wal-Mart opened.
Over the next year, the first James Bond movie was released, JFK was assassinated and the Beatles became popular in the US.  On March 27, 1964 Larry and Dawn got married in Van Horn.  They lived in El Paso, and 10 months later they started their family and Sondra was born in January 1965.

Later that year, Larry graduated from Texas Western College and received commission into the U.S. Army as a second Lieutenant.   Larry’s first assignment was in Ft. Knox, Ken.  The Simpsons left El Paso and moved to Kentucky.  While in Ft. Knox, Larry was named Company Commander and enrolled in the Army Officer Career Course.

The year 1965 was the introduction of miniskirts. The Rolling Stones’ mega hit song, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” was released, and the U.S. sends troops to Vietnam.  This brings us to Larry’s next assignment as Platoon leader and Executive Officer for the 1st Battalion, 69th Armor of the 4th Infantry division in Vietnam.

As Larry prepared to leave for war, Dawn and Sondra head back to El Paso where their second daughter, Lisa was born in November of 1966.  In 1967, the first Super Bowl was played and the first heart transplant was performed. Larry returned home in December.

Over the next several years, Larry attended Helicopter Flight School at Ft. Walters, Tex. and Ft. Rucker, Ala. Worldly happenings included Martin Luther King’s assassination, Woodstock and Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon.  In 1970, the Beatles broke up and Larry heads back to Vietnam.  On this tour, he would fly Cobra Gunships for Delta Troops.  On his return from Vietnam in 1971, the family moved to Ft. Hood, Tex. where Larry was a squadron staff officer for the 1st of 9th Cavalry as well as Commander of 1st of 81st Armor of 1st Cavalry Division.

Over the course of Larry’s military career, Dawn stood loyal and supportive, raising their family.  She also, volunteered with the Red Cross and was active in the Army Wives Club.  Larry resigned from the Army in 1973. After the Army, they moved to Van Horn and worked for the Holiday Inn.  They later moved to Sweetwater to manage the Holiday Inn.

In 1975, they permanently moved back to Van Horn and bought the Van Horn Advocate and Office Supply.  In 1976, they added a Radio Shack franchise store.  For the next, 23 years the family lived, loved and laughed.  In 1986, Sondra married Jeff McCoy.  Larry and Dawn had their first grandchild in 1988, when Lindsey was born.  Vance Cottrell also joined the family that year, when he and Lisa  married.  Over the course of the next 10 years, five more grandchildren were added to the family, Hayley, Emiley, Devon, Starvanna and Calise.

News in the world included the collapse of the Soviet Union, OJ Simpson was arrested for murder, President Clinton was impeached and Viagra hit the market.

In 2000, Larry and Dawn bought West Texas Aviation. Nine years later, they welcomed their first grandson-in-law, Brock Tyrrell.  In 2012, after 37 years of weekly deadlines and attending countless meetings, Larry and Dawn sold the Advocate.  And now, in 2014, what brings us to tonight, Larry and Dawn celebrate 50 years of happiness, love and marriage.”

The Mitchell family reunion was held over the past weekend.  Those in attendance were Van Horn residents, Larry and Dawn Simpson, Jeff and Sondra McCoy and Hayley McCoy. Brock and Lindsey Tyrrell, Vance, Lisa, Starvanna and Calise Cottrell;  Kathryn Van Horn of Burnet, Tex., Joe and Leigh Van Horn of DeSoto, Tex.,  Mitch & Glenda Van Horn of Brady, Tex.,  Keith and Jeanne Ringler from Alvarado, Tex., Josh, Torre and Maddie Dominguez from Cedar Park, Tex. Robert, Debra and Drake Chatman from Savannah, Tex.,  Joel and Heather Van Horn, from Dallas, and Gary, Glenda and Julie Mitchell from Brownwood.


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