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50th Wedding Anniversary

By Sienna Miller



More than 50 years ago, in a place on the Virgin Islands called St. Thomas the intermakings of a love in progress took place between two individuals who would later get married and have a family. This is the story of Auslin and Gene Hassel who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December the 3rd this year. They both grew up in the Virgin Islands and went to school together in St. Thomas. At the age of 15, they began dating. “I couldn’t stand him!” says Gene. “At first I didn’t like him because he was smart, and I was a trouble maker.” She goes on to say. Seeing him as a bit more conservative than she liked, she was not interested. “Like they say, opposites attract!” she mentions. Even though she had known him for a while, I asked her what made him stand out to you and when did your feelings change? Gene tells me, “Well he was the first male that showed me kindness.” This is something that you can still see in his character today. They had a favorite song at that time{{more}}and it was “It had to be you”. Auslin responds to what he thought about Gene when her first met her in the Islands. “She was the outspoken one, and I was kind of quiet.” He says. Auslin was a grade ahead of Gene and he mentions this…“She was like the homecoming/prom queen, and I was in the background.” With a love that has lasted like theirs has, you can imagine that it has also taken a lot of patience. Besides, anything worth having is worth waiting for.After graduating from high school, both Auslin and Gene moved to the states to attend college. Auslin in New Jersey and Gene in New York at first she later transferred to Chicago to finish. In 1955, on December the 3rd, they tied the knot. With a host of friends and family present, it was official. As I looked through their wedding photo album during their anniversary celebration at Baker Heights Church of Christ, Gene’s sister Bernice Quartermen says, “That was the happiest day of my life!” She was the Matron of Honor. The Hassel’s went on to have four children they are Steven, Scott, Michael and Stephanie. They are all grown and doing well now with families of their own. Included in those families come four grandchildren . The grandson’s are Zachary, Jared, Aiden and Kellen, three brothers and one cousin. After getting married, Auslin and Gene moved here to Abilene in 1974 to work at the Dyess Air Force Base where Auslin practiced Pediatrics. I spoke to a dear and lifelong friend of the Hassels, Bettye Davis. Both her and her husband James flew in from Gilbert Arizona to be present for the celebration. Bettye met Auslin and Gene while her and husband were both stationed out at Dyess. “ From the minuet we met, we became very good friends, and over the years Gene has become like a sister to me. Auslin of course and my hubby James Ayv they got along great and get along great so…their children became my children.” Says Bettye. She speaks of the close relationship they have shared over the years. While they still lived in Abilene, some years they would even have the children’s birthday parties in their own backyard. “Especially Lynn’s 6th grade birthday party I remember in our backyard and there were kids running everywhere all over the place and we just had a wonderful time.” Bettye says as she smiles. The Davis’ have also attended their graduations, happy occasions as well as have shared in the sad occasions. This is truly what friendship is all about. “It is just so great to be here after all this time, to be here to help them celebrate this 50th Wedding Anniversary!” Bettye says. You could truly see the joy in the eyes of those who were in attendance. Mrs. Davis ends with this…“Monday we go back to Gilbert Arizona and the friendship will continue!” She notes that even though they don’t get to see each other as much as they’d like to, they still keep in touch by phone. She ends with this, “Happy Anniversary Auslin and Gene!” It was a pleasure seeing and meeting all that were present at the celebration. All children and their spouses were present as well as all of the grandchildren. Gene’s sister Bernice Quarterman and her husband Lee were there from Chicago. Also in attendance was Auslin’s sister Audrie Parson who flew in from Fayetteville North Carolina. A host of church family and friends also helped to make the event complete. It was a joyous celebration and one in which we can all be inspired by.

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