Harold and Patricia Mitchell of Pekin will mark their 55th wedding anniversary Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.

After six years of dating, Patricia L. Ockerby married Harold J. “Mitch” Mitchell Aug. 26, 1961, in Creve Coeur. The couple have been best friends for a total of 61 years.

Pat had been offered and accepted a 4th grade teaching position in Pekin in 1961. At that time, Mitch was working at the Caterpillar Inc. plant in Morton. He didn’t want Pat driving from Morton to Pekin daily so the couple settled in Pekin.

No special trips are planned as they have traveled worldwide over the years. Some of the countries visited include Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, England, France and several other European countries, including their favorite, Spain — which they visited several times starting in 1975. Pat prepared units on her travels so she could share their trips with her 4th grade students.

In recent years, they have traveled extensively in the United States and some in Canada showing Mitch’s 1974 Jaguar E Type roadster (XKE), and Pat’s 1955 Torch Red Thunderbird.

Not having children, they have bestowed their parental affection on numerous children of friends and family, and on the many children in Pat’s classroom over 37 years of teaching.