James and Carolyn Ely of Milton-Freewater celebrated their 50th anniversary with a family dinner on New Year's Eve and a snowmobile outing on New Year's Day, hosted by their son Jeff and his family. They met through Carolyn's brother in August 1956 and married Dec. 31, 1960, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Walla Walla. Carolyn's maiden name is Van Doren.
James owned his own trucking business for 35 years, hauling livestock, hay, seed, apples and grain. In 1998 he switched to driving for others, hauling hazardous material, wood chips and general freight before returning to farm products the past five years.
Carolyn was secretary for their trucking business and involved for many years in property renovation and management.
She enjoys ceramics and being with her grandchildren doing projects and activities. She was active in the process to bring toll-free calling to the Walla Walla-Milton-Freewater area.
Both enjoy spending free time with family.
They have three sons, James Ely of Walla Walla, Jeffrey Ely of Tigard, Ore., and Kenneth Ely of Milton-Freewater; and 10 grandchildren.