Gilbert — Virgil and Lois Alexander were treated by their four children to a surprise celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary on May 27 in Gilbert.
The Alexanders and their children are Miami natives with many relatives and friends in the Globe-Miami area. Both parents and the children, Keith, Kristil (Busch), Chris, and Kandice (Alt), are all graduates of Miami High School.
They were married in 1967 while Virgil worked as a student employee at Inspiration Copper and Lois worked at the Southwest Monuments Association at Gila Pueblo. Virgil was put out of work when the eight-month copper strike began and found work in Phoenix, first as a janitor and then was hired by the engineering department of Arizona Highway Department.
The couple lived in Phoenix and Yuma until the copper strike ended and Virgil went to work in the Inspiration Power Plant and they moved to Claypool. Virgil worked for the company through eight changes in ownership, retiring from Freeport McMoran in 2009 with 42 years of service.
In the area, the Alexanders were active in community, church, youth, and school committees, and Lois had an Avon business. Virgil taught evening courses at Gila Pueblo, San Carlos, and the State Prison.