R.V. and Mary Ellen (Bigelow) Wagner Jr. celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on May 27, 2009.
Mary was born to James and Ella Bigelow on Jan. 8, 1926, in Lewistown, the only sister of Fred, George, Ernie and Glenn.
She attended school in Lewiston and graduated with the class of 1943.
After graduation Mary was employed at the University of Pennsylvania. It was there that she met R.V. Wagner, known as "Pete" to friends and family. Pete worked for the Railway Express Co. at the time.
They eloped to Elkton, Md., in 1944, then moved to Lewistown, where Pete was a chainsaw dealer on West Fourth Street, and Mary was employed at American Viscose.
Pete, Mary and their son, Chuck, moved to Bradenton, Fla., on Aug. 19, 1957. He was employed as a contractor until he bought Trailer Estates Marina in 1962. Pete was a founder and commodore of the Trailer Estates Yacht Club. He was also a founding member of the Flotilla 81 Coast Guard Auxiliary. Pete owned Forcast Marine, where he manufactured small boats.
In 1965, he built and started Marine Outlet, a retail and outboard engine repair business on Bowlee's Creek. It was there that he became one of the top WellCraft dealers in the United States.
Pete was an organizing member of The West Coast Dealer's Association. He was a leader, organizer and innovator of the marine industry in Manatee County.
After arriving in Bradenton, Mary worked in the billing department of EMR in Sarasota. She resigned in 1951 to become a housewife and assist her husband in his endeavors. Mary kept the accounting books and assisted Pete in his businesses while welcoming the birth of three more sons, Tim, Fred and Jay.
After raising the boys, Mary became active in the El Conquistador and Bayshore Gardens Community Bridge Clubs.
Mary and Pete have traveled to Europe, China and Africa. They have spent the last 20 years traveling from Alaska, Mexico, Canada and everywhere in between in their motor home.
Pete and Mary credit their long relationship to talking. They discuss everything and never make a decision without the other's approval.