Helen and Rudy Johnson celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary Sunday, Dec. 23 surrounded by family and friends at the Williams Lake Seniors Village. (Greg Sabatino photos)

Johnsons celebrate 75 years of marriage

“It certainly is a big surprise,” Helen said with a big smile. “I didn’t expect this.”

Every evening before bed, Rudy Johnson walks over to the opposite wing of the Williams Lake Seniors Village to kiss his wife, Helen, good night.

It’s been that way since the couple moved into the village where, on Sunday, Dec. 23, they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary alongside family and friends.

“It certainly is a big surprise,” Helen said with a big smile. “I didn’t expect this.”

Rudy, 96, and Helen, 94, were married in 1943 and came to Williams Lake. They moved to Soda Creek in 1962 and bought the Buckskin Ranch, where they raised their six children.

After Helen nearly drowned crossing the river on the Soda Creek ferry, Rudy decided to build what’s now the historic Rudy Johnson Bridge. He located an abandoned steel bridge in Alaska, which he dismantled and paid to have transported to the Cariboo. The bridge was completed in 1968 and is still in use.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb was on hand Sunday to meet with his friends, and present the couple a special certificate of recognition congratulating them on 75 years of marriage.

READ MORE: Rudy Johnson book signing Friday

“It’s quite something,” Cobb said. “It’s great to see the pioneers. He’s done so much for this community and it’s great to be able to participate.”

On their 75 years of marriage, Cobb said it’s quite a remarkable milestone.

“There are lots of people who don’t live to be 75, let alone married that long,” he said. “I think it’s just great.”

Rudy visits Helen in the opposite wing of the building at least three times a day. The live on different sides of the building due to Helen requiring more care.

Three of Rudy and Helen’s children: Debby, Randy and Bob joined in the celebration with their parents.

READ MORE: Rudy Johnson named Daybreak Rotary’s Parade Honorary Parade Marshal

“It’s just amazing,” Debby said. “They’ve been a great part of the community all these years and they treat everybody like family so it’s awesome they can come and share it with everyone.”

Helen, meanwhile, came to a realization recently, Debby said, smiling.

“She told me yesterday she realized dad’s 96 years old, so she guesses she’s now married to an old man.”

Aside from their children, Rudy and Helen have 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Helen and Rudy Johnson get together with their children Randy (from left), Bob and Debby for a photo during the couple’s 75th wedding anniversary.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb congratulates Helen and Rudy Johnson on their 75 years of marriage.

Rudy and Helen Johnson were busy greeting and conversing with family and friends.

Helen Johnson poses for a photo with one of her great grandchildren, Dayne Buller, Sunday during her 75th anniversary wedding celebration at the Williams Lake Seniors Village.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and his wife, Lynnette Cobb, present Rudy and Helen Johnson a special certificate of congratulation for their 75 years of marriage.

Just Posted

MISSING TEEN: Williams Lake RCMP ask public’s help in finding Angel Emile

Emile was last seen on Windmill Crescent in Williams Lake Jan. 16

Cariboo female hockey players help make history at outdoor BC Winter Classic

Brette Kerley, Paige Outhouse, Pyper Alexander and goaltender Cadence Petitclerc-Crosby took part

EDITORIAL: Embrace literacy

Family Literacy Week is from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2

Cariboo air attack officer reports from Australia

“We are flying a lot, bombing fires anywhere from four to nine hours a day”

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Electric charging stations in 100 Mile now open to the public

‘People have called from as far away as Kamloops’

Risk to Canadians of Chinese coronavirus low, health minister says

Five or six people are being monitored in Canada, including at least one in Vancouver

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

VIDEO: ‘Porn’ answer was a wrong one for Surrey family on ‘Feud’ game show

Surrey’s Rams competed on the TV show Wednesday night

Abandoned boats left to freeze on Okanagan Lake cause chaos

Over the last week weather conditions have caused three separate incidents

B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai: ‘Everyone is on edge’

Face masks and hand sanitizer ‘sell out’ as 9 SARS-like illness cases confirmed in the city

B.C.-based firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing three

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

Most Read