#52Ancestors Week 11 March 12, 2018 “Lucky”

Claire Lavina Sanders (b. 1927) and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. (1928-1985) were certainly lucky to meet on a blind date in college and then hit it off so well that they were married just a few years later on Saturday, March 17, 1951 at the Upton Methodist Church in front of God and all their family and friends. I know because they are my beloved parents.

03.17.1951 55 WP 55 Claire & Les Wedding
Upton Methodist Church, Upton MA – March 17, 1951
DEF V1P01 03.17.1951 R Leslie & Claire's Wedding Day.jpg
Mabel Sanders, Harriet Sears, Claire and Les Sears

Dad had started college in 1945, served in the Navy for 3 years and came back to graduate from Boston University in 1950 – just one year ahead of Mom.

dup 1946 Les Sears in Navy Uniform Service No. 752-03-83
Les circa 1946

The luck of the Irish was evident during the years of their courtship as they partied with friends, went on picnics and joined Dad’s fraternity brothers and their dates at dances.

06.1945 Q&P Leslie Ray Sears, Jr..jpg
Les Circa 1945
1945 Q&P Claire.jpg
Claire Circa 1945

 

They were lucky again to have 3 healthy children in 6 years and have the blessings of everything that a close family brings to life.

 

Claire and Ray
Claire and Ray 1953

 

 

 

 

1957 Ray, Claire & Marilyn
Ray, Claire & Marilyn Circa 1957

 

Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray
Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray 1958

Since our parents had graduated from college, they knew the importance to us kids about following in their footsteps. We all 3 graduated from college with degrees in our chosen fields that we were able to build careers from.

 

Dad’s career in the U.S. Army was another blessing. We got the chance to move around the country, enjoy the splendor of this great land while getting to visit relatives as we went and Dad was able to serve his country with more than a quarter century of service – something that was so important to him.

 

1952 Q&P Dad with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany (umlaut
Les in Germany 1952

 

1953 Q&P Isabelle and Jerry Butler, Claire and Les Sears
Isabel and Jerry Butler with Claire and Les Sears in Germany 1953.  They became lifelong friends.

 

 

 

 

 

02.03.1956 First Lieutenant Leslie R Sears Jr.jpg
First Lieutenant Les at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana 1957

 

DEF V1P01 07.26.1963 Leslie R. Sears, Jr. receives the Army Commendation Medal
Les receives the Army Commendation Medal 1963

 

1964 Dad in Vietnam.jpg
Les in Vietnam 1964

 

Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr & Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND
Brigadier General Les Sears with Col. Jerry Butler in Indiana 1973

 

Les retires from the Army.jpg
Major General Les Sears retiring from the Army in 1976.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad was lucky again when he retired from the Army in 1976 and he and Mom transitioned to a more leisurely life. How lucky can one family be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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