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Oldest local store owners to observe 70th anniversary

The Baughs on Feb. 17, 1951.

Alan and Lois Baugh, owners of Wayland’s oldest continuous business, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The Baughs were married at the Wayland Calvary Church on Feb. 17, 1951, by the Rev. John Miles. They had met at Wayland High School and at the church just after Lois and her family had moved here from Oaklawn, Ill. The two began dating and both graduated from the high school in 1947.

Alan was called to serve in the Army in 1951 and was first stationed in Wisconsin, then relocated to Alaska shortly afterward to serve as a dental assistant in a medical detachment. They chose Feb. 17, not because it was Valentine’s Day weekend, but because Alan was on a three-day furlough.

Alan returned home from Alaska to his wife and a familiar job in the family shoe sales and repair business.

The Baugh shoe business was started by his father in 1923 and it still is in operation 97 years later at 111 S. Main St., moving there more than 60 years ago after being located at where Aqua en Vino stands today.

Lois pursued a singing career at the Grand Rapids School of Bible & Music and during her studies, traveled the United States, singing soprano with the musical troupe in New York, North Carolina and several other states.

She took over as choral director at Calvary Church when she returned home, and continued in that role for more than 35 years, while also substitute teaching and driving a school bus.

Baughs had four children, Cheryl, Timothy, Kimberly, and Terry.

The Baughs considered closing the business, but, in response customer demand, the repair business remained open and Alan can be seen at the store despite being past the age of 90.

COVER PHOTO: Alan and Lois Baugh in 2011.

 

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