Central Park residents Mike and Karen (Glading) Barkstrom are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary today. The couple were high school sweethearts at Kelso High School (Class of 1966) and were married Jan. 23, 1971, at the Cowlitz County Courthouse in Kelso.
Karen worked for Pacific Northwest Bell for over 10 years as a long distance operator, data processing clerk and customer service representative, had a daycare center in her home from 1986 to 1998 and has been the editorial assistant at The Daily World for more than 22 years.
Mike, a Vietnam veteran, served in the U.S. Army Special Forces before earning a degree in forestry engineering from the University of Washington. He worked in the wood products industry for 10 years, as an international marketer, ran a marine shipping terminal, sold paper; and owned and operated Quizno’s in Aberdeen for over 11 years. In retirement, he’s a member of Aberdeen Lions and the Special Forces Association. He is maintenance supervisor at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church and volunteers at the Salvation Army Food Bank.
The couple has three children: Tara Walls of Black Diamond, Tyler Barkstrom of Spokane and Tami Mudd of Maple Valley as well as five grandchildren.
They are looking forward to celebrate their five decades of marital “bliss and blisters” with a trip to Cancun with the kids and grandkids when it’s safe to travel again.