By Melody Vallieu
MIAMI COUNTY — Al and Joy Mader went to school together until fifth grade — and then decided they couldn’t live without each other.
The two met when Al’s sister, Viola, married Joy’s brother, Paul Deal.
The couple later married on March 26, 1949.
This week at the fair, the Maders celebrated with 82 other couples during the 2017 Golden Anniversary photo.
The parents of four children — Steve, Dan, Connie and Julie — the couple owned and operated Mader Motor Mart for 46 years, opening in 1966. They then sold the business to their son, Dan. Joy also was an LPN at Piqua Memorial Medical Center for 29 years.
The close-knit family, which also includes 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, all live in Troy, Joy said. She said they enjoy holidays and other events together throughout the year.
“And we all get along,” Joy said.
Prior to their retirement, the couple already enjoyed camping together in almost every state as members of the Good Sam Club, and also have traveled extensively.
“We traveled all over the world before retiring,” Al said. “We’ve been camping for probably 35 years. It’s a great way to spend time with family.”
Besides family time, Joy also sings with the the Spitting Image group, and both are lifetime members of the First Lutheran Church in Troy.
When it comes to their key to longevity, Al simply joked, “She’s the boss.”
Joy, however, said it was definitely a team effort.
“We just worked together. We just make it work,” she said.
Reach Melody Vallieu at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 552-2131