Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hessee of Baxter Springs Kansas, along with their family invite everyone to share in their 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration.

The couple will begin their celebration by renewing their Vows in front of their family. Reverend Jeff Street will be officiating the ceremony. The ceremony will take place at the home of Mike Hessee, the same location as the original ceremony 60 years ago.

Following the ceremony the family invites everyone to come visit with the couple at a open house. It will be held at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall from two to four o’clock on Saturday February the twenty eighth.

It was 1947, his junior year of school. Billy Joe Hessee and his family moved into 2015 Lincoln Street. Bill was the son of Mark and Bernice Hessee, he had a brother Junior and a sister Florine.

Leona and family lived across the street from the Hessee family. Leona was the daughter of John Nathan and Earsie May Riddle. She had three brothers Howard Nathan, Homer Charles, and Odren Elden better known as “Tuffy”. She first became acquainted with Florine, Bills sister and become friends.

Bill would meet Leona every morning in the middle of Lincoln street and walk her to school then walk her home after school.

Bill’s grandfather, Louis Edmonds owned a boat with a motor, it was very hot one day and school was let out for the afternoon. Bill took her for a boat ride on Empire Lake, after the boat ride they shared their first kiss. They dated though their senior year at BHS and after graduation in 1948 Bill and his brother left for Reno Nevada to work and save money. When Bill and Junior returned to Lincoln Street he was carrying a ring and gave that ring to Leona on Valentines Day 1949. They set the date for February 27,1949 and on that day Leona and Bill once again walked across the street to the Hessee home to be married in the front room. Florine, Bills sister stood up with Leona and Bill Williamson, a close friend stood up with Bill. They left for a honeymoon trip to Tulsa, OK.

When the couple arrived back the next day A large group of their friends were ready to chivalry the newlyweds with a decorated wheel borrow for Leona to ride in and Bill to pushed her down main street Baxter Springs. This was a usual custom in those days after a wedding.

Bill and Leona rented a upstairs apartment across the road from the Old High School. This home still stands today.

Bill retired in 1987 from Empire District Electric Company after 37 years of service. Leona is a homemaker, wife, and mother.

The couple have three sons, Michael Earl Hessee of Baxter Springs, Kansas and lives in the old Hessee home where his parents were married.

Billy Dean Hessee and wife Debbie, of Galena, Missouri. Robert (Bob) Wayne Hessee, a postman at Baxter Springs and one daughter Pamela Diane Hessee Paxson and husband Terry of rural Columbus, KS.

They are the very proud grandparents of fourteen grandchildren:

Shari Hessee McCandless and husband Jeff McCandless, Baxter Springs, KS

Todd and BJ Hessee of Miami OK.,

Tyson Hessee and wife April of Afton OK.

Stephanie Hessee Wise and husband Andy of Phoenix, AZ,

Leanne Hessee Woodruff and husband Amos,

Carrie Hessee Deckard and husband Brian all of Republic MO,

Billy D. Hessee Jr. of Galena MO,

Travis Hessee of Baxter Springs, KS

Joshua Paxson and wife Becca,

Haley Paxson Pritchard and husband Derek all of Baxter Springs, KS

Whitney Paxson Moran and husband PJ of Riverton KS,

Thomas Paxson of Lawrence KS.

and the late Trisha Hessee and baby Phillip.

Even prouder of twenty great grandchildren.

Bradley, Abbey McCandless of Baxter Springs, KS

Jordan and Brayden Hessee of Miami, OK

Ashlyn Parmely and Bradley Joe Hessee of Baxter Spring, KS

Andrew and Anna Wise of Phoenix, AZ.

Kayleigh, Nathan Cope, Zoie and Lola Woodruff

Corey, Caleb, Jacob Deckard all of Republic, MO.

Spencer, Brayden Barnard, Garett Paxson of Baxter Springs, KS

Katelyn and Jared Moran of Riverton KS.

On Valentines Day 2009, Bill took Leona back to Lincoln Street. They met in the middle of the street again and he proposed all over again as members of their family stood to watch. He gave her a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, and a new set of wedding rings. Of course she said “YES!”