Sixty years ago, on April 28, 1950, William and Norriel (Lanphere) Near were married at the Foursquare Church in Ripley. The couple met in 1948 and they were married two years later. Bill worked on the Nickel Plate railroad when they met and later, Nonnie worked for Welch's Grape Juice Company (Welch Foods).
Bill served as a Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Bill and his new bride lived in Norfolk, Va., for a short time while Bill served a second enlistment in the Navy during the Korean Conflict.
The newlywed couple then settled in Nonnie's hometown of Ripley. Their family grew to five children: Robyn (Bob) Albright, Ripley; Michelle DeHaven, Erie; Dawn (Ted) Rickenbrode, Ripley; William Jr. (Aileen), Orchard Park, NY; and Paris (Gill) Graham, Dalton, OH. In addition to their children, Bill and Nonnie have 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
William and Norriel Near
Bill worked as a truck driver and diesel mechanic for many years. He also drove school bus for the Ripley School District. A stay-at-home mom for many years, Nonnie went to work at Meeder's Restaurant in 1967 and continued there for the next 20 years.
The Nears will celebrate their Diamond Anniversary with a small family celebration at their home in Ripley in May.