Mary And Richard Arambula Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary With Letters From Stars And Politicians

May 30, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Mary and Richard Arambula celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this week and their great-granddaughter, Belinda Bannister, was able to get over 150 famous people including all living presidents, the pope, Susan Sarandon and George Clooney to send notes to the pair. Mary Arambula, who wed Richard Arambula when she was just 17, said it was not easy making the relationship work and joked about “grabbing a gun and getting out of house” sometimes.

Mary And Richard Arambula

Mary and Richard Arambula received an epic 70th wedding anniversary from their great-granddaughter, Belinda Bannister, which they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

In 2014, Bannister, who lives in Germany, wrote to Pope Francis asking him for a special note wishing her great-grandparents a happy anniversary. The pope not only replied, but he also sent a certificate with an Apostle Blessing.

When Bannister got the pope’s gift, she told herself why not contact more celebrities, politicians, dignitaries and companies to share well wishes with Mary Arambula and Richard Arambula. So, she contacted over 150 people and most of them replied.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent a heartfelt letter to the California couple, so did Regis Philbin and George Clooney.

“Your extraordinary dedication to each other over decades is an example for us all,” the Obamas wrote. Mary and Richard Arambula received autographed pictures of Shaquille O’Neil, Dakota Fanning, Heidi Klum, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Susan Sarandon, William H. Macy, Rod Stewart, Judge Judy, and many more.

Tommy Chong shared a funny note that read: “Congratulations on being together seventy years and not killing each other.” They received letters from all of the living former presidents: Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Mary and Richard Arambula received gifts and notes from their favorite sports teams – the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, two gifts from the late Joan Rivers really marked the couple. Rivers, who died in August, had asked her team to send the Arambulas a brooch and a shawl. Moved by the gesture, Mary Arambula, 86, said:

“I am touched that she would pay so much to send it to me because I’m just a nobody from Bakersfield.”

Arambula added:

“I never expected anything like this.It was a big surprise.”

Richard Arambula, 87, told local media:

“This girl here is something else. She said she was going to throw us a party. It turned out to be a big party.”

Bannister had the following to say about her family:

“These people are amazing. They are just fabulous and I love them and I want everyone to know about it so they can know how amazing they are.”

She added:

“We thought we would maybe get 10 responses. We thought we would have a lot of agents tell us they don’t do that. We had some of those, but we never dreamed of getting 150 responses.”

The couple, both originally from Texas, came to Bakersfield in the early 1940s and married when they were just 16 and 17 in 1944. According to Bannister, Mary reached home late one night after attending a dance with Richard and her mother said if you are old enough to break curfews you are old enough to get married and leave my house.

The pair had a “poor wedding,” no pictures, no real ceremony and had four children, 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Richard said, it hasn’t always been “sweet rolling” and Mary, added: “There was times that I wanted to get the gun, get out of my house.”

Mary And Richard Arambula Pic

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    Comments (7)

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    1. 2 cents says:

      this story was sweet until the wife made the gun joke and the husband said it was hard being married for so long.
      with that being said congrats you two.

    2. Julie says:

      The story’s still sweet, even with the gun joke and hubby’s comment. It is hard being married but the work is worth the reward.

      Congrats to you, Mary and Richard Arambula. Here’s wishing y’all many more anniversaries.

    3. Sue Odom says:

      We only have 55 years and they were right on the money about the “get away time” So congratulations on your 70th anniversary and keep on showing the younger set that it is possible. May God continue to bless you both.

    4. Adrian says:

      Congrats on success, hard work, love , and honesty ..
      WE will never beat 70 years , unless I live to 104 .. possible ?

    5. Wisconsin Mom says:

      This is what marriage should be, not married until I’m bored or angry, but working through, the ups and downs of life. Congratulations to the happy couple and may they be an example of what Christian Marriage is.

    6. Patricia says:

      Congratulations on 70 years! And remembering your vows. I admire you both with great respect in not giving up. And back in the day as the ole saying goes “when things were broken we fixed it”. I saw my whole family struggle but they stayed together. My dad taught me never be a quitter. God Bless all of you.


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