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60 Years of Marriage in 5 Words

The wisdom of Bren and Dorothy Whittaker, who met on campus in 1952.

Bren and Dorothy Whittaker
Photo by
John Solem

Dorothy Alden ’56 and Brendan Whittaker ’57 met as freshmen lab partners at the University of Massachusetts sifting soil samples in the basement of Stockbridge Hall. Immediately after Dorothy graduated, they were married in downtown Amherst’s Grace Church, decorated for the occasion with lilac boughs from campus.

The Whittakers live on 70 acres in Brunswick, Vermont (pop. 116), just 11 miles from the Canadian border. Bren’s bailiwick is the forest while Dorothy’s is the farm, where she raises vegetables for a farmers’ market, local restaurants, and her roadside stand. “We are growers,” says Bren. The couple spent their 60th wedding anniversary working, as always, which keeps them strong and sharp.

Dorothy boils down the key to their marriage’s longevity to just five words: “Joint interests and independent pursuits.”