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The family of Vernon and Doris Anne Garner of Solomons came together in mid-August for three days to celebrate: 1) Doris Anne’s 89th birthday held in April; 2) Vernon’s 90th birthday held in August; and 3) their 69th wedding anniversary coming up in December.

Their four children and their children’s spouses, 12 grandchildren and their spouses, and 15 great-grandchildren flew in from Oregon, California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia for the occasion.

Housing was arranged at the Navy Recreation Center in Solomons, where amenities include a tennis court, swimming pool, miniature golf, playgrounds and a pier for crabbing.

The weekend included a dinner and cruise on the Calvert Marine Museum’s Wm. B. Tennison on a Friday afternoon and a catered dinner and program at Asbury-Solomons (where Vernon and Doris Anne live) Saturday night. Most of the family joined Vernon and Doris Anne at Calvary Bible Church on Sunday morning, then went to Mama Lucia’s Restaurant in Prince Frederick for lunch before heading to the airport for their return flights.

During the Sunday church service, the family gathered on the pulpit and sang “Because He Lives” with granddaughter Kara on the piano. This was followed by granddaughter Alison singing a solo, “The King is Coming,” joined on the chorus by her parents.

Vernon was born and raised in Calvert County just a mile north of Solomons, and had a 30-year career with the U.S. Air Force. Doris Anne is from Baltimore and became an accomplished artist after raising their four children and enduring 32 different address changes.

“The weather was ‘picture perfect’ throughout the weekend,” according to the Garners’ description of the reunion, “and memories of the good time together are permanently etched” into the family’s minds.