When, for the first time, Sharlene Murdock's father agreed to let her go with her brothers to a Saturday night dance in Cornville near her home in Camp Verde, no one expected she would meet Bob Sammeli, the man she would marry. Bob and Sharlene dated for over a year and were married on Dec. 16, 1960, at a little church in Camp Verde.
The newlyweds lived in Flagstaff, Clarkdale and Cottonwood where their sons Kenneth and David were born. They moved to Kingman in 1967.
Avid golfers and bowlers, Bob and Sharlene found the climate and community a good fit and a good place to raise their children.
Bob, who is now retired, worked in construction in Kingman and owned his own company, Dinosaur Truss. Sharlene has worked in accounting, banking and business management.
The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a formal dinner at the home of Helen Hutchins, Bob's sister. Their sons Ken and David, daughter-in-law Cherish, and two of their four grandchildren, Mariah and Austin Sammeli, joined them at the head table. Grandchildren Maci Sammeli and Tanner Jones were unable to attend.
Also in attendance were Bob's mother, Vivian Davenport; his sisters, Helen Hutchins and Charlotte Keller; and brother Fritz Sammeli. His sister, Victoria Torgerson from Virginia, was unable to attend.
In total, 20 friends and family members celebrated with them.
At the celebration, Bob said, "When I went into this marriage, they told me it was for better or for worse. I don't know how it could have been any better."