Fun through the Eyes of Maggie Rose McGurk column

Fun celebrating the Van Stralens’ 50th wedding anniversary

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Mary and Dirk Van Stralen recently celebrated 50 years of marriage!

It all started back in 1966 when Dirk, a pilot and navigator for World Airlines, was invited to a party with crews of the airline and was the only single male at the party. He was approached by a friend of Mary’s, who held him in a head lock. She said,” I am saving you for my friend, Mary.”

Mary and Dirk met and started dating, and the rest is history. Since both worked for World Airways, Mary became friends with the scheduling group and she and Dirk would fly together around the world.

Since they had the same working schedule, they were off at the same time, which gave them time to ski at Squall Valley. Dirk remembers both cashing a check for $25 each that paid for a day of skiing including two ski tickets, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sounds like fun!

Dirk then was hired to work and teach at Japan Airlines so they moved to Japan where their two children were born and spent their early development years. The family has lived in homes in the Bay Area, Japan, Loomis, Weimar and Lincoln.

Mary and her daughter have an in-home and business plant service. Dirk was a minority partner and built a major tire service company. In recent years, Dirk has prepared many grants for educational institutions and services.

Daughter Andrea Crane created the anniversary party’s centerpieces. She started with manzanita cuttings painted gold; and then added lights and flowers. What a beautiful addition! 

They have many wonderful friends from everywhere who attended their great anniversary party and helped the couple celebrate a great milestone in their lives together.


   - Maggie Rose McGurk


Maggie Rose McGurk of Maggie Rose McGurk Photo Art is a Lincoln resident, who goes everywhere with her camera. See more photos of Placer County life at Contact her at or 543-5300.