By Melody Vallieu
Surrounded by family, friends and fellow fair-goers — Al and Joy Mader of Troy got married — again.
The couple, married 65 years, celebrated their first wedding on March 26, 1949. Since then, the couple has added to their family with four children, Julie Glover, Dan Mader, Connie Davis and Steve Mader; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
The contest won by the Maders, “Let’s Do It Again,” was sponsored by Heartland of Piqua. Genell’s Flowers of Piqua provided the flowers for the ceremony and Dobo’s Delights shared a wedding cake with guests.
Ric Barnes of First Lutheran Church of Troy officiated the ceremony.
Barnes, citing their many years of happiness, asked the couple about the key to their longevity.
“Just lots of love,” Joy said. “I’ve loved him since the day I met him and still love him.”
Al said, “Learning to say ‘yes,’” to the laughter of the crowd.
Following the reading of Bible verses, a poem and words of encouragement by family, Barnes asked the couple to “Keep on working as craftsmen at your marriage.”
The couple then shared matching vows with one another.
“I love you more now than I did when I married you. And, I didn’t think I could love you a smidgen more, but I do,” Al said. “I chose you then and I choose you now.”
“I thank God for you. Today, I reaffirm the vows I took then. I love you now and always,” Joy concluded.
The couple then exchanged vows and shared with each other, “This ring is still a sign of my love and faithfulness.”
Followed by a kiss — not their first — and certainly not their last.