Roy Williams laughs with attendees at the 70th Anniversary celebration of his and Ozella's wedding on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

‘We just keep loving each other’

Senior center celebrates couple’s seven decades of marriage

The Kenai Senior Center on Friday hosted a celebration for the 70th anniversary of the wedding of Roy and Ozella Williams.

The center’s banquet hall was packed with attendees, one of whom said there were more people there than they’d seen since the start of the pandemic. Another said they counted 105 people.

Ozella said they didn’t expect so many people to show up and celebrate.

“We figured it’d be more than just three or four,” she said. “But we didn’t expect this. It’s very nice.”

Ribs and cake were served, and Roy sat by the door for over an hour shaking hands with everyone as they left.

He said he used to know everyone’s name. He said these days he was better with faces, but he was thankful to everyone for coming, even if he had never met them before.

Roy said he married Ozella in 1952, when he was 18, and she was 15.

“I got a wonderful woman,” he said. “We were young when we married and had two children.”

“The time just passes,” Ozella said. “We just keep loving each other and keep praising the Lord.”

She said they’ve been blessed with good lives and good kids — good grandkids and great-grandkids too.

Roy said they came to Alaska for the first time in 1969, and after a couple of visits, it quickly became home.

Roy said he and his wife were united through their faith. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the two worked as missionaries and built churches in Nikiski, Anchorage and Canada. He served as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Kenai. He said that faith was central to their 70 years of marriage.

“I love her. She loves me,” he said. “She’s my best friend, I’m her best friend. We try to go a second mile for each other, a third mile.”

He said that both he and Ozella have had bouts with cancer, but they got through it because they had each other and they had their faith.

“You don’t have another chance on this earth once it’s over.”

“We don’t argue,” he said. “If we don’t agree on something, we just hush about it. Have a little while and we talk about it again.”

He said they never go to bed with anger in their hearts because the Bible says not to.

Roy said that 70 years of marriage gives him and his wife the opportunity to be an example for young people.

“If you love, you love them with physical, spiritual love; You can stay together. You give and take a lot for that,” He said. Being a loving person in that way, he said, makes you a better person in everyone’s life.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

Roy and Ozella Williams chat with attendees at their 70th Wedding Anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Roy and Ozella Williams chat with attendees at their 70th Wedding Anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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