Jo and Jim Coburn of Chantilly's Brookfield community may just have the secret to love. On Aug. 24, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at daughter Beverly's home with their six children, spouses, and 11 grandchildren.
Also attending the party, were surprise guests including Jo's sister Bunny Bailey from Princeton, WV, Jim's brother, Jack and sister Bess, and cousins from Rocky Gap, Va. Friends from Florida, Jo and Don Otty also traveled up for the party. The couple received a gift certificate for their next trip and a memory book in which each family member added a favorite memory.
A highlight of the party was when family friend Susan Ragan of Roanoke, sang Stephen Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here."
Jo Coburn, 72, worked for SunTrust Bank then called Creststar Bank and Jim Coburn, 76, worked for Metro. Now retired, the couple regularly attends Pender United Methodist Church and volunteers at the Fairfax Christian Ministry.
"I just think that my parents have set an example of what a marriage should be — to love, to give, and to care," said eldest daughter Beverly.
The couple has been living in Northern Virginia for almost 30 years, and has raised six children — three graduated from T.C. Williams and three from Chantilly High — Beverly, 49, of Chantilly, Jim, 47, of Chantilly, Bobby, 45, of Richmond, Jeff, 44, of Alexandria, Jennifer, 43, of Washington, D.C., and John, 41, of South Riding.
"I love my good neighbors and my church, says Jo Coburn of living in Chantilly.
The couple met through mutual friends at Jimmy's Restaurant in Princeton, WV. "I think it was love at first sight," says Jo Coburn.
They married Aug. 14, 1954. "We just had a great time and quite a few surprises. It's been a great life and I can't add too much," says Jim Coburn.
"The secret is to love and trust each other. I think that trust has to do more with it," says Jo Coburn.