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Celebrating 50 Years “A Story for the Ages”: Bill and Sally Smith Petty

By Staff | Apr 19, 2020

Bill and Sally Smith Petty celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 18, 2020.

Their courtship story is one for the ages. Indeed, if Sally hadn’t actually written her future husband a “Dear John” letter, they might have never gotten together.

While Bill was serving in Vietnam (1968-69) with the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, the girl he was writing to met and married someone else. Sally offered to be proxy to write the “Dear John” letter.

That letter began a brief correspondence between the two inadvertent pen pals; they exchanged letters over the next few months. When he got home he determined to look up this girl who’d acted as proxy for dumping him.

They began dating and were soon engaged. After a short courtship, they were married on April 18, 1970.

They were both born in Ogden, Utah in the old Thomas Dee Hospital that was located on the corner of 24th and Harrison Blvd.

Bill graduated from Bonneville High School in 1966 and Sally graduated from Clearfield High School in 1969.

They have lived in South Weber their entire married life. They built their home and raised their five children there.

They were both involved in civic and church activities. Bill served on the South Weber City Council and as Mayor. They spent seventeen years volunteering with the South Weber Country Fair Days celebration.

Bill worked for the Standard Examiner for forty-five years retiring in May of 2015.

Bill enjoyed outdoor activities and spent forty-nine years working with the BSA.

Sally worked part-time jobs through the years but her greatest accomplishment was raising their children and being a stay at home mom.

Sally enjoyed sewing, gardening, playing the piano and organ and teaching piano lessons.

They are the proud parents of Jennifer (Floyd) Layton, Tim (Becky) Petty, Clint (Kelli) Petty, Billie Jo (Brett) Scoffield, and Dusty (Angie) Petty. They have 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

We, as the Petty family celebrate, not just for 50 years of marriage. . . the ups, downs, and everything in between and forever more.

The moral of this story is: Beware of the power of “Dear John” letters!


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