Earlier this year, Dorothy [nee French] and William Double celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. William was born in Ipswich and Dorothy was born in Blaxhall. They were married at Blaxhall Church.
They met in 1948 when Dorothy worked at a flower shop with William’s sister. They courted for two years while William served in the Royal Navy. Upon his return, they married. They have three children: David, Diane and Denise.
In 1959, William was working at Bentwaters; it was during this year they emigrated to America. After moving several times in Michigan, the family settled at a horse farm in Paw Paw. David and Denise live in Michigan with their families, but Diane returned to Suffolk, she lives at Ramsholt with her family.
William and Dorothy have eight grandchildren; six are living in the USA and two in England. Also residing in America are four great-grandchildren.
Their daughter Denise runs a livery and horse training business at their farm, appropriately called Model Farm after the original farm at Easton Farm Park, where Dorothy’s father was cowman when she was a little girl. Model Farm is known amongst the horse folk that drop in as a very friendly farm, where Dorothy and William sit outside [weather permitting] on the porch for a chat and offer a cuppa! They have always kept their farm as a ‘little bit of Suffolk’.
When asked the secret of such a long marriage, William says “We think alike, we rely on each other” Then joked-“I would starve to death if it wasn’t for Dorothy!”
“It’s a simple life, but I think people need that” he concurs “We’re pretty lucky, I think.”
While happy on their farm, the couple, both 82, said that travelling kept things interesting. They’ve been to 43 states in America, including Hawaii. They have also visited Australia and New Zealand, and have returned to Suffolk many times to stay with Diane.
William keeps active on the farm and in his garden, while Dorothy is busy with several rescued cats.
However, their thoughts are never far from Suffolk, William keeps up to date with what is happening here through the East Anglian Daily Times that his daughter sends him and through the internet. He also keeps in contact with an old school pal from Ipswich, who he very recently renewed his friendship. Dorothy and William keep in close contact with their many relatives and friends both at Blaxhall and other villages throughout the peninsular. Dorothy’s dearest wish is to once again visit again her beloved Blaxhall.