Vern and Bee (Filla) Spaunhorst recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family.
They were united in marriage Jan. 24, 1970, at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Washington by Fr. Thomas Vogel O.F.M. Ice and snow were all around, but the sun blessed them with its warmth, making it a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70s.
After a reception at The Elks Lodge, the couple traveled to Rolla for Vern’s college graduation, held the following day. Then they were off to enjoy their honeymoon at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach.
Vern was a junior at UM-Rolla, and Bee a nursing student at St. Mary’s in St. Louis when they met at a Christmas party. Years later they would discover even more significance to the Christmas season.
Thirteen years into their marriage, they moved their expanding family for the fourth time, establishing roots on the family farm. Alongside raising their family and Vern working as a mechanical engineer in Ellisville, Vern and Bee began to plant Christmas trees with the ambition to open a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm. Some years later they opened Heritage Valley Tree Farm for business.
Once Vern retired from his mechanical engineering career, he and Bee continued to work and operate the ever-growing tree farm. Still going strong, they celebrated their 30th year of Christmas tree sales this past December.
Both lifelong residents of Washington, Vern and Bee raised five children with much love, faith and dedication: Matthew (Denise) Spaunhorst, Sarah (Sasha) Josipovic, Jennifer (Daniel) Hoffman, Helen (Brad) Seitz and Pete (Kristen) Spaunhorst; and they are further blessed with five amazing grandchildren: Megan, Luke, Nikola, Nolan and Maximus.