Robert "Bobby" and Louise Burton of Medford celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at an open-house reception hosted Nov. 27, 2011, by their daughter at the Medford Eagles Lodge, where they have been members for 43 years.

Bobby Burton married Louise Thames Nov. 24, 1951. The couple has a son, Norman Burton, of Folsom, Calif., a daughter, Pamela Owen, of Medford, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. One son, Dale Burton, is deceased.

Bobby and Louise first met July 5, 1951, at Louise's best friend's house, which neighbored Bobby's adopted parents' house. It was love at first sight. They were engaged before he left for his new Air Force base, the 97th Bomb Wing in El Paso, Texas.

When Bobby asked Louise's father for permission to marry his daughter, her father said she had to be 18 and finish school. The couple married Saturday, a day after her 18th birthday.

Louise enjoyed being a stay-at-home mother and wife, caring for her children, home and beautiful flowers. With one exception, Louise packed pears every fall for 26 seasons at Modoc Orchards. In retirement, Louise has spent her time taking care of her husband and home, and loving her grandchildren.

After his service in the Air Force, Bobby worked different jobs for steel service centers throughout the years in sales and administrative positions from 1955 until his retirement in 1995.

Bobby learned to play country fiddle while he was in the service, and it ultimately became his main avocation for the rest of his life. His first professional gig was in 1952, and he has been playing country music and western swing ever since.

His band, Bobby Champion and the Rogue Valley Boys, performed the first television broadcast in the Rogue Valley on KBES-TV. He was inducted into the Western Swing Music Hall of Fame in Seattle in 2002.

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