John Dean first set eyes on his future wife when he was working on a trip boat, My Girl, out of Weymouth.
The 17-year-old had arrived in Dorset from her Irish homeland in May 1961 and the whirlwind romance that followed the chance meeting led to their marriage in St Augustine’s Church, Weymouth, on September 30 the same year.
Following a full and active life involving travel to all parts of the world, John and Carmel Dean fittingly celebrated their Diamond Wedding in Weymouth, the town where they have always lived.
While Carmel still lives in the family home John, now 79, is a resident at Queen Charlotte Nursing Home, in Chickerell.
For their landmark anniversary, the couple, who have five daughters, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, were joined by their daughter Luana Murphy for a celebration meal at the care home – a roast lunch at the request of John.
John was born in Weymouth, the youngest of four children, and grew up in the town. His father was a captain on a ship in the Royal Navy and that led to a lifelong love of the sea.
During his working life, he ran a fishing boat and pleasure trip boat as well as doing a variety of other jobs from coal and milk deliveries to working at Portland Stone Firms and Dorchester hospital where he was porter.
Carmel had a busy life bringing up her family, running a bed and breakfast business, owning and running a post office and shop and also helping John on his fishing boat.
They enjoyed spending time with their children, and their families. The couple also shared a passion for travel, visiting places as far afield as the Caribbean, Florida and Egypt as well as destinations around Europe.
John spent years supporting Leeds United but is also an avid supporter of Weymouth and went to watch their home games whenever it was possible.
John was delighted when they won the league last year and got promoted. He has a signed Weymouth football.
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Author: Stephen Pulllinger