One in 1,000: Couple celebrates their 70th wedding anniversary

Alice and Leo Snowden are shown at their 70th wedding anniversary party on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

Leo and Alice Snowden were surrounded by friends and family at Sunset Meadows on Wednesday, Nov. 23, as the couple celebrated a rare milestone — their 70th wedding anniversary. 

According to the U.S Census Bureau, only 6% of married couples make it to their 50th wedding anniversary and just 0.1% make it to their 70th wedding anniversary. 

Leo and Alice, who lived in Routt County at the time, were married in Steamboat Springs near Strawberry Park on Nov. 23, 1952. Leo said he remembers the snow was several feet deep on the couple’s wedding day.

The family later migrated to Moffat County and made their home in Craig. Leo and Alice have four children — one daughter and three sons — five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Most of the family lives locally, except for one son who winters in Mesquite, Texas, and a granddaughter who lives in Sterling with her family. All of the local family members gathered in the community room at Sunset Meadows, where the couple shares an apartment, on Wednesday to celebrate the occasion. 

The celebration was decorated with a display of photos of Leo and Alice over the years, starting from before they wed until more recently. Leo recalled they met before high school after Alice came to Colorado from Nebraska. 

A photo board and flowers sharing pieces of Leo and Alice Snowden’s life together were set up for the couple’s 70th anniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The two said that the key to making a marriage last this many decades is a little give and a little take. Alice said they only knew about the celebration since last week.

Two of the couple’s adult children, Russ Snowden and Ramona Green, remarked about how rare it is for couples to celebrate a 70th anniversary. 

“It used to be that when you got married, you stayed married,” Russ said.

Leo and Alice were joined by family and many friends who have known the couple for years. The celebration was complete with a cake imprinted with two photos of the couple from their earlier years together. One of the photos showed the two cutting their own wedding cake 70 years ago.

Betty Ann Duzik, left, shakes hands with family friend’s Leo and Alice Snowden at the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Amber Delay/Craig Press