The children and grandchildren of Bill and Barbara Ballard will host a 50th wedding anniversary reception from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, at the Church of Christ Activity Building, 210 East Smith, in Stratford.

Billy Gene Ballard and Barbara Lee Eldridge were married June 1, 1965 at the Stratford Church of Christ, with Cole Tidwell officiating.

After they married, Bill and Barbara lived in Abilene, Texas. During that time, Barbara finished her bachelor’s degree and Bill worked on his master’s degree. Once Barbara completed her degree, the couple moved to Kansas and taught school for a short period of time.  At that time, they moved back to Oklahoma, where Bill was a minister for several years. In 1981 Bill and Barbara moved back to their home town of Stratford.  Bill began working in the oil field, where he served as sales rep, open-hole logging engineer and manager for a logging and perforating company. During that period of time, Barbara worked as a secretary for two construction companies.  In 1989 Bill and Barbara became co-owners of the family propane business, Eldridge Propane Service. Barbara worked there until 2006 when the business was sold. Bill continued to manage the business for seven more years. At that point he retired but continues to serve as a consultant.

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