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Bickels mark 60 years of marriage

 

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Bickels mark 60 years of marriage.

Harold and Eunice Bickel of Goldendale will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Nov. 29, at the Grace Brethren Church.

Harold, born Jan. 13, 1926, grew up in North Dakota. He was the fourth of nine children. Harold served in the Army for five years during World War II. Following his discharge, he attended the State School of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., which is where he and Eunice met.

Eunice was born Feb. 23, 1934, the youngest of 11 children. She grew up in Breckenridge, Minn. Eunice met Harold at a Christmas party her boss gave for his employees and boarders. (Eunice was working at his restaurant and Harold lived in his boarding house.)

For the first two years of marriage, the Bickels lived in Breckenridge, Minn. Harold was convinced by his brother-in-law, to move to Goldendale for a job. His intention was to work for a few weeks, find a house, and that Eunice would follow later. However, after just one week, Eunice couldn't wait, and she moved out to be with him. The couple lived first in Wishram, then in Goldendale, and finally, to Maryhill, where they have lived for 52 years.

The Bickels have been blessed with four children, Dennis, LaNae, Greg and Charlie, and seven grandchildren, Whitney, Mackenzie, Kindra, Nathan, Kevin, Samantha and Bradley. They also have five great-grandchildren, with another on the way.

The Bickels became foster parents in 1970 when Charlie was placed in their home. He was a little boy who needed a lot of time, attention, and mostly love. There is a long story about how Charlie changed their lives, which they love to share. According to the Bickels, it was because of Charlie and some surgeries that Eunice and Harold came to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. This changed their lives.

Over the next several years, they had 52 foster children in their home; eventually opening their home, not only to the foster children, but also to the mothers of the children so they could help teach the mothers parenting skills. They have also been "substitute grandparents" to many of the children in their church. Eunice enjoyed taking children to The Dalles Dam for outings; allowing their mothers to have a nice break for the day.

In addition to working at home, Eunice also waited tables at the Oasis for several years. She sold World Book Encyclopedias, cared for an elderly woman, and drove the handicapped school bus for many years.

Harold worked for Radke Motors, Spickerman Motors and Burt Wilkins' logging for 12 years. He then started working for Martin Marietta, where he worked until retiring in 1982.

In retirement, they were volunteer drivers for Mt. Adams Transportation.

 

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