SIDNEY — Orlena and John Leese, of Sidney, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at an open house, hosted by their children, Sept. 18, from 2 to 5 p.m., in the Lindner Community Center Meeting Rooms A and B of the Springfield Masonic Community, 2655 W. National Road, Springfield.
John and the former Orlena Burns were married, Sept. 14, 1956, in the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Sidney. The Rev. Richard Ricard performed the ceremony on a rainy evening. Witnesses were maid of honor Esther (Averso) Wolven, of Michigan, best man John Laws, of Sidney, adoptive brother of the bridegroom, groomsmen Pete Meyer and Jack Bales, cousins of the bride, and organist Ruth Meyer, cousin of the bride. The couple honeymooned in the Smoky Mountains and Kentucky. They had met on a blind date set up by Jewel Rice, the wife of the bridegroom’s cousin, Paul.
John is the son of the late Samuel and Lula (Prather) Leese and the adoptive son of the late Lula and Everett Laws. He has three deceased brothers, Carl, Luther and Charles Leese; four deceased sisters, Myrtle Hudson, Lucille Leese, Ada Jasper and Dean Leese; an adoptive sister, Alberta Campbell, of Titusville Florida, a living adoptive brother and sister-in-law, John and Edna Laws, of Sidney, and an adoptive sister-in-law, Marlin Laws, of Sidney. Another adopted brother, the Rev. Merle Laws, is deceased.
Orlena is the daughter of the late Rebecca and Charles Burns. She has a deceased brother, Clarence Roberts, and a deceased sister, Daviadd Vail.
The Leeses are the parents of a living daughter, Kathy Leese, of Piqua, and a son, John II, of Minster. Another daughter, Kris Pelphrey, is deceased. They have a granddaughter and three great-grandchildren.
John retired from Miami Industries/Copperweld in Piqua after 43 years of service.
Orlena worked for the Ohio Telephone Co., later known as the United Telephone Co., and for First National Bank, later known as Star Bank.
The couple attended the First Church of God in Sidney for almost 50 years, where John served on the board of trustees and taught Sunday school, and Orlena served on the benevolence committee, edited the church newsletter and taught Sunday school. For the last 10 years, they have attended the Snyder Road Church of God in Piqua.
John is a 50-year member of Temperance Masonic Lodge in Sidney and also attended meetings of the Stokes Lodge in Port Jefferson. He is a lifetime member of the Valley of Dayton Scottish Rite and served as a Dad Adviser to the Order of DeMolay. He was the recipient of the Legion of Honor for DeMolay and was a two-time master of the Temperance Lodge. He and Orlena are both members of the Pleiades Chapter Order of Eastern Star, where John served as worthy patron.
Orlena was a Girl Scout leader in Sidney. She is a member of the Thursday Chatterers Club, a group of women who have been friends since childhood.
The couple enjoy their dog, BJ, and their granddog, Jackson; traveling through 48 states and in the Smoky Mountains and Cade’s Cove; and gospel music. John enjoys woodworking and Orlean enjoys writing to her penpals, some of whom she has corresponded with for more than 70 years. John is waging a courageous battle against cancer.