In June 1965 Sonny & Cher made their first TV appearance on American Bandstand, Fiddler on the Roof was on Broadway, Gary Player won the U.S. Golf Open, Gemini 4 completed 62 orbits of Earth and the Rolling Stones released Satisfaction.
And on June 19, Betsy and Steve Pettit were married and came to live in Steve’s hometown of Wilton.
The couple will celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday.
While raising three children here — Lee, Meppy and Jennifer — the couple also became involved with many organizations, so much so that when it comes to volunteering in Wilton, the Pettits’ names come up year after year.
Last fall, Betsy could be found sorting items for the Minks to Sinks sale. As a member of the Wilton Woman’s Club she has helped prepare and pack a Thanksgiving dinner for Wiltonians unable to shop and cook for themselves.
Steve has been very active at St. Matthew’s and in 2012 served his third term as chairman of the church’s outreach committee, leading the church’s mission “to provide financial support, and also volunteerism from the parish to help serve the community,” he told The Bulletin in September of that year.
Shortly before that, the couple spearheaded St. Matthew’s Tagless Sale that gives needy families an opportunity to select at no charge clothing, furniture, household goods and other items donated by parish members.
Perhaps it’s no wonder the Wilton Family Y honored the Pettits as Outstanding Citizens of the Year in 2001 and in 2007 presented them with the Voluntary Action Center Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, citing thousands of volunteer hours to the Y for more than 20 years.
Wilton High School also benefited from their efforts as volunteers with the PTA, Basketball Boosters, and the Wilton Student Financial Aid Committee, upon whose board Steve still sits, 20 years after his last child graduated.
The Pettits were also among the original six couples who started Wilton’s Post Graduation Party in 1988, a tradition of fun and safety that continues today. That tradition will be repeated Saturday night, a day after the Pettits’ golden anniversary.
Family members ask friends and well-wishers to join them “in wishing Betsy and Steve Pettit a very happy 50th wedding anniversary.”