The couple married in 1950 at Coffeyville, but he wanted to study photography, so they moved to Shawnee where he enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist University. Upon graduation, he served an internship with a master photographer at Seminole. Their first daughter Libby was born, and their first son, Rob, arrived two years later.
In 1956 the family had an opportunity to purchase the photography studio of Guy Logsdon in Ada. On Feb. 6, Joy will have spent 58 years here. Their daughter, Joanie was born in 1955, and Daniel followed in 1959.
Gradually, the Wellington’s studio specialized in wedding and anniversary portraits, and Joy chuckles that their children gained a distorted view of life as a result.
“People are at their best when they’re getting married or celebrating an anniversary, and our kids came to believe that all people always display kindness and patience,” she said.
“All our children worked at the studio. It was truly a family enterprise. Both Dean and Rob served a term as president of Professional Photographers of Oklahoma. We photographed the Miss Ada pageant, and I was privileged to be photographed with 14 Miss America winners through the years. We had acquired a great deal of special equipment by this time, always with the ideal of pointing up the natural beauty of our subjects,” Joy continued.
“We had been very active in First Baptist Church during all this time.”
“Dean died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1983. He was only 54 years old. Both girls had married and moved away by this time. Daniel was still in college. We kept the studio open until 1995.”
Forty Eight Hours, a popular TV show, selected Wellington's Studio and Joy as a wedding coordinator as a feature. Joy says that show really introduced her to the professional world of wedding consultation.
Rob had married into a family of educators, and he came to realize eventually that he, too, was more interested in a career in educator than in photography, so he closed the studio in 1995.