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Bemus Pair Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Phil and Lynn Wight of Bemus Point are celebrating 70 years of marriage. “Why would you want to look at people, 97 and 91, when you can look at people that are young and vivacious? We count our blessings, Lynn and Phil White.” Submitted photo

Bemus Point residents Phil and Lynn Wight have celebrated a lifetime of cherished memories together, but it will be hard to compare any of those to the milestone of Aug. 5, 2020.

Today the couple will celebrate an astonishing 70 years of marriage, which of course begs the question — what is the secret?

What is going on behind the scenes that has kept Phil, 97, and Lynn, 91, together through the good times and the hard ones?

“We have a sense of humor, and we like dogs,” Phil said. “We are fortunate to have the Lord give us a beautiful, over 100-year old home here where we have lived next to Long Point State Park, which allows us to walk all of our pets in the park. We’re very good customers of the SPCA. If you give a dog love, he will return it 20 times over.”

Anyone who spends even a few minutes with the Wights will be able to tell you with certainty, that humor is a foundation of their seven-decade journey.

“My philosophy of life, and if you talk to different friends of mine they will tell you, is you have to keep laughing,” Phil said.

The story begins in the mutual hometown of Westfield, N.J.

As a young man, Phil had aspirations of enlisting in the Armed Forces following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

With a brother already serving the war effort, Wight’s family did not want to give him permission to enlist right away. It was not until 1942 that Wight joined the Army with his family’s blessing, where he would serve in the 385th American Bombardment Group, flying combat missions across Europe and participating in Operation Chowhound in 1945, which helped feed the starving population of a German-occupied Holland.

Returning from Europe, Phil had his mind set on the goal of many fellow GIs, settling down.

One blind date with Lynn later, and his mind was made up.

“It was a blind date, and he was working up in Syracuse,” Lynn recalled. “We only had three weekends and then he said I’m at a new job, I can’t make this seven-and-a-half-hour trip down here every weekend, do you want to get married? And I said yes.”

What was a brief courtship evolved into a marriage story for the history books — one that includes a range of careers, one son, three daughters, and a move to Bemus Point in 1972.

There, near the border of Long Point State Park, Phil and Lynn continue to enjoy their time laughing with family members, those with two legs and four.

“At the age of 26 I said, I’ve got to get settled here,” Phil recalled. “The Lord talked to me, there was Lynn and we got married.”

Sometimes, life is just that simple.

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