Longtime Buena Vista residents Les and Mary Messamer are celebrating their 65th anniversary.

They were married Dec. 20, 1949, in McPherson, Kan., where they met while attending school.

First son Raymond Keith and daughter Sue Ann soon were added to the family. Son Larry Lee arrived in 1960.

Nine years later, the family moved to their current home in Buena Vista, where Les became elementary principal at Irwin W. Avery Elementary School, now known as Avery-Parsons.

He eventually became the middle school principal and took up additional work as sports announcer on KVRH Radio.

As a team, the couple soon immersed themselves in community life, becoming active in the Congregational United Church of Christ, where Mary still sings in the choir and attends Bible study.

They became involved in Native American causes, campaigning for the rights of individuals and families and making efforts to provide for their spiritual and physical needs.

Les also has taught hunter safety in the community.

Through the years, the Messamers have been honored by community leaders as examples of community activism and volunteer spirit because of their involvement in Native American causes, local charities and the community garden.

Their family said they have always coordinated as a team and are a constant example to their family of compassion, charity, joy and partnership.

The Messamers head a widespread family.

Son Raymond and his wife, Tricia, of Lovell, Wyo., have four children: Rae Lynn (Josh) St. Clair with two kids; Colleen (Justin) Averett with three kids; Kevin (Jamie) Messamer with three kids; and Lisa (Will) Petersen with seven kids and expecting an eighth.

Daughter Sue is married to Ray and lives in Estes Park.

Son Larry and wife Becky of Colorado Springs have three children: Jason (Shauna) Messamer with two children, expecting their third; Andrew Messamer and girlfriend Brooke with one son; and Steven Messamer, who is in high school.

In addition, the Messamers have adopted both Chinese and Cochti Pueblo grandchildren.

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