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SHIRLEY — On a snowy Saturday in 1956, a teacher and an Army Corporal exchanged their wedding vows in the warmth of St. Mary’s church and in the company of friends and loved ones. Now, exactly 50 years to the day, John and Patricia Poor will return to the place they shared their first meal as husband and wife.

“We had our wedding breakfast at the Bull Run in Shirley,” said Patricia. “We got married on a Saturday and our 50th anniversary is also on a Saturday. It just seemed like the thing to do, to come home to celebrate.”

John Poor was born in Union City, N.J. in 1927, the middle of nine children. In the closing years of World War II, he cut short his junior year of high school and joined the Navy, where he was assigned to the famous “Fighting Seabees” construction battalion and stationed in the South Pacific. Upon his discharge, he returned to finish his high school education, graduating in 1948 from Dwight Morrow High School in Oradell, N.J.

Shortly after, he joined the Marine Corps, where he distinguished himself as the recipient of two Bronze Stars for his actions in the Korean Conflict. Poor enlisted in the Army almost immediately after his discharge from the Marines. He was attached to the 29th Evacuation Hospital in Fort Devens when he was introduced to Vickery through a mutual friend.

Vickery and Poor were married on Feb. 4, 1956 after a six-month engagement. John was reassigned to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, N.Y. later that year, and the couple eventually settled in N.J.. Patricia continued to teach until the early 1970s and later worked for The Texwipe Corp. John left the Army in 1959 and enjoyed a 40-year career in distribution and logistics. Both retired in 1989.

On Feb. 4, friends and family will join John and Patricia at The Bull Run in Shirley, the site of their wedding breakfast a half-century before. Many who will be attending were guests at their wedding. Also attending will be their two sons, Donald and Steven; their daughters-in-law, Francine and Karen; and their granddaughters, Elyse and Jessica.

John and Patricia currently reside in Epsom, N.H.

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