Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary. We Love you Guys.
I always say my mother sent Patricia to take care of me but I know she also sent me another set of parents too. I love you both & I am so blessed to be welcomed into a wonderful family!
Here's to another 50 years!!!
Happy Anniversary, May you last another 50 years! My Love Always, Lu Juan
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Gerry and Diane - Cheryl and I wish you all the best!
Sorry we will be unable to attend - but can not wait to see pictures of the event!
Sorry I haven't posted soone, but I'll be there , both myself and Harvey. We wish you all the best, and commend you love and persistence over the years because trust and believe I know "It ain't easy"!
God Bless Gerald & Diane on the 50th
Anniversary. You guy's are special and may God Bless you with 50 more years of Love.
I WAS CONTACTED BY COUSIN GERRY. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT ME EMAIL WAS ON FILE ORIGINALLY. I WILL BE ATTENDING.
How many couples can boast of 50 years together? May God continue to bless your lives together.
Diane, every time I went to DC, I drove passed your home on 14th street. I oftenn wondered about you and thought about our time at St. Gabriel's. Thank you for reconnecting.
Love both of you always and keeping you in prayer!
The web site is the Bomb. Very creative and inspiring to your 45 year marriage friends. We will be there to celebrate with you family and friends.
We look forward to celebrating with you and Gerry on your 50th Anniversary.
Diane , I often think of the days when we were classmates at Sacred Heart Academy. I will always cherish those days and your friendship.
May God continue to bless you!
You and I were college roommates at Duquesne University when you told me, with more than ordinary enthusiasm about your new love interest, Gerald, It seemed to you and to me that this promised to be a match made in Heaven - and it is.
Barbara B. Steele
You are two very special people,and I will always cherish my friendship with you. May God continue to give you all the blessings you need. Love and Prayers always.
What a wonderful story. We are looking forward to this special celebration. May you continue to be so blessed.
We are all blessed to have known you both and been affected by the love that you share with each other and with all of us. You both are amazing!!
Congratulations on your 50th! I sure hope your marriage lasts. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures. Love, Ethel
It was a pure delight to enjoy this beautiful website! You are a blessing to all of us. Congratulations!
Congratulations to both of you... always the role models in all aspects of life. Proud to be your 'little brother'.
BEAUTIFUL WEBSITE, THANKS FOR SHARING AND MAY GOD BLESSINGS CONTINUE TO BE IN YOUR LIVES.
Congratulations. I look forward to celebrating this wonderful milestone with you.
Hortense will be traveling with me.
What a wonderful website for an amazing couple! Looking forward to celebrating with you on this special day.
We'll definitely be there to celebrate with you!
What a wonderful story of life and love.
We look forward to celebrating this special occasion with you and your family.
I love you guys, congratulations. A great example of how a marraige should be done.
We are honored to be your guests and celebrate this momentus occasion.
TRUST IN GOD
My spirit looks to God allone;
My rock and refuge is His throne:
In all my fears, in all my straits,
My soul on His salvation waits.
Trust Him, ye saints, in all your ways,
Pour out your hearts before His face:
When helpers fail and foes invade,
God is our all-sufficient Aid.
May the next 50years be as fabulous as the first 50. We love you both and God bless these 2 incredible people.
1.Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be,
and it shall be well with thee.
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine
by the sides of thine house:
thy children like olive plants
round about thy table.
4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion:
and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel. AMEN
Great site! I'm gonna bookmark it!
Congratulations on your wedsite! We are honored to be a part of your special day. Thank you for choosing wedsite.com to share your anniversary plans and experiences with your friends and family.
Listed below is information on area hotels, the event venue and sites to see while you are in town.
Thanks again for joining us on our special day!!
Kahler Hall is the location where we have chosen to celebrate or 50th Wedding Anniversary.
6:00 – 6:45PM Welcome Cocktail Reception
6:45 – 7:00PM Seating & Introduction of Special Guests
7:00 – 8:30PM Blessing & Dinner Service
8:30 – 9:00PM Comments and Testimonials
9:00 – 9:30PM Movie & Slide Show
9:30 – 9:45PM Gerry & Diane Comments & Dance
9:45 – 11:30PM Dessert & Dancing
11:30 – 12:00AM Thank You & Adjournment
Both Diane and Gerry’s parents are deceased. Diane’s siblings are Chalmers (deceased) and Charlind Patterson. Gerry’s siblings are sisters, Joyce Jones, Beverly Ford and Marlene Clark, and brother, Michael Tolson.
Todd and Bernadette Tolson and their sons, Todd Tolson Jr., now in the USAF stationed in Idaho, and Tyler Tolson, who graduated from HS this past summer and is attending college. They live next door to Gerry and Diane on Pamplona Road.
Marc Tolson is currently living with Diane and Gerry helping to raise the Lopez siblings.
Evan and Dawn Tolson, who are the relative newlyweds (3+ years) of the family. They live in Elkridge, MD, within 15 minutes of Diane and Gerry.
Patricia Tolson and her sons Anthony Tolson, now serving in the US Army in Oklahoma, and Aiden Tolson who has recently celebrated his 1st birthday. Patricia also lives on Pamplona Rd.
Stephanie Tolson graduated from culinary school in Norfolk, VA this past summer, and lives in Virginia Beach, VA.
Maria, Jennifer, Ebelin and Mario Lopez have been a part of the greater Tolson family since they came to live with Diane and Gerry in 2010.
In addition to those mentioned above, Gerry and Diane’s lives have been graced by a large number of relatives and friends who constitute their larger family.
Gerry and Diane met in the Fall of 1961 after an Economics 101 class at George Washington University (GWU) which they were both attending as students. Gerry was a freshman and Diane was a sophomore who had transferred to GWU after her freshman year at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Though they hadn’t met before, they discovered that they had both attended Catholic High Schools in DC, located only a few miles apart. Diane had attended the all-girls Sacred Heart Academy, and Gerry, the all-male Mackin HS, both located in NW Washington, DC.
They were among an extremely small number of full-time Black students at GWU, and soon became good friends, and after a short period, began dating each other. By the Spring of 1962, they had met each other’s families and both Gerry and Diane had made good impressions. Gerry had begun working full-time for the Library of Congress (LOC) in January, 1963, and attending night school while trying to figure out his professional calling. Diane remained at GWU and their dating continued and became exclusive. Their love became strong enough that they wanted to live with each other, so they were married in the Fall of 1963 and began their family.
The early years of the marriage were very challenging as they faced and accomplished the adjustments necessary to live together independently while working and attending school. Todd and Marc were born 1 year apart, so Diane was busy rearing the kids while Gerry worked and attended night school. With help from their families, they were able to buy their first home, a 2 BR, three story house in Washington, DC. Though he had been promoted each of his 3 years with the LOC, Gerry felt that he was not in an environment in which he could maximize his professional career as well as his ability might warrant. He interviewed with the IBM Corp. and began working there on 02/01/66.
Diane and Gerry spent five years at 684 Oglethorpe St. NE in DC, during which time they enjoyed their families, friends and neighbors, and raising the kids. Gerry had progressed to a management position within 2 years and realized that a professional career in business was where his interests lay. Diane was at home ensuring that Todd & Marc enjoyed a healthy, stimulating environment in their formative pre-school years. Evan was born in 1969, the third boy in their growing family. Diane’s Mom became ill and passed in 1970, after requesting that they bring Diane’s 14 year old twin siblings, Chalmers and Charlind Patterson, to come to live with them. They agreed, knowing that they would need a larger house for their increased family. The family moved to their present home in Columbia, MD in the summer of 1971.
Columbia provided a varied and welcoming community for this family of toddlers, teens, and young parents. Gerry and Diane found their Pamplona Rd. neighbors to be wonderfully interesting people with family-centered values. After settling everyone in their schools, Diane focused on expanding her personal, family & community friends and affiliations, while Gerry was primarily focused on growing his IBM career. Chalmers & Charlind finished HS and began their college lives before moving out to begin their independent lives. Todd, Marc and Evan were very active with their neighborhood, school and sports team friends and the many varied activities and organizations in which they were involved.
In 1975, Stephanie was adopted, and Patricia in 1976. The boys welcomed their new sisters and helped them with their adjustments to their new family and environment. With their family up to 7 again, Gerry and Diane were again very busy with school, sports, community and social activities. The Tolson family enjoyed Disney World and spent many vacations there, as well as at other places and visits with relatives. Evan played soccer on a (very good) traveling team, so the family spent many years going to 4 or 5 tournaments per year throughout the Eastern US and Canada. During the ‘70’s through 90’s, the kids grew, graduated from HS, and left home to attend college and/or start their independent lives. Though most of the vacations during this time were with the family, Diane and Gerry did manage to get away for quite a few by themselves. They are very proud that all five of their children have served their country in various branches of the military.
In 1999, Gerry retired from his career with IBM, and with Lockheed Martin Corp., and Diane reduced many of her activities. Between then and 2010, when Gerry went back to work with a former colleague, they went on many vacations in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe, Alaska, and other sites, as they fulfilled a desire to work on their bucket list while were still “young”. During 2009, they decided to become foster parents and hosted several teenagers until being joined by the Lopez siblings in August, 2010.
Gerry and Diane have lived an interesting last 50 years full of challenges and fun, that has been graced by the opportunity to raise five wonderful children, and help quite a few others. They have experienced personal issues and challenges to be sure, but they have worked through them and continued to grow in love and respect for each other. They are looking forward to their future together, but they will probably slow it down just a bit.
Gerald Anthony “Gerry” Tolson was born on September 29, 1943 in Washington, DC, as the 2nd of five children to Joseph & Leola Tolson. Growing up he had one older, and 2 younger sisters, and a younger brother, born in 1956. Gerry enjoyed his early childhood in Southwest, DC, playing “cowboy”, and “Army” games with his friends, as well as baseball, football, and other athletic activities. Gerry loved to read and enjoyed his collection of “Army” comic books, which were all the rage in the late ‘40’s & early ‘50’s. Gerry’s parents were quite traditional in their expectations of their children, and Gerry always accorded them the respect they deserved, and adherence to the standards of behavior and academic achievement they expected. For that, they gave him a good bit of freedom with his activities.
Gerry attended Catholic schools from K through HS, and was a good student, regularly reading the newspapers and the “World Book Encyclopedia” to gain information about the world that was outside his personal experience. Gerry was also an Altar Server from ages 8-12 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, which stands at South Capitol and M St.’s in DC. When he was old enough, Gerry had paper routes to give him early experience at working & earning his own money.
At age 12, Gerry worked over the Xmas Holidays with his father, who was a package deliveryman for Jacobs Transfer (like UPS today). That experience gave him a mature perspective on the value of work and of his father’s commitment to his family. That experience served him well through the rest of his life, as he understood that work was an enabling activity rather than an imposition. (Thanks Dad).
Gerry attended the all-male Mackin HS from ‘57-’61. African Americans were a significant minority at Mackin, but Gerry enjoyed his experience and did well, finishing #1 in his class in his senior year. Gerry wanted to succeed in life and liked the sciences, but did have a clear idea of what he wanted to do. His mother wanted him to be a pharmacist, so he enrolled in that discipline at GWU in the Fall of ’61, where he met Diane. They quickly became friends, and soon had the relationship deepen because of a common value base and attraction for each other.
When Gerry realized that he wasn’t interested in pharmacy he left school and began to work for the Federal Government to try to discover his true interest. His relationship with Diane deepened and they decided to marry in the Fall of ’63 and begin their family. After 3 years of working and attending evening classes, Gerry decided he needed a change, and interviewed successfully with IBM. He found at IBM that recognition and advancement was based on individual ability and the values of his upbringing (integrity, aptitude, and hard work) rather than seniority, so he progressed rapidly through many management and senior advisor/consultant positions, while earning his degree in Business Management along the way. He had a very successful career without having to relocate his family.
While raising their family, Gerry worked, while Diane generally stayed at home to ensure the kids received proper direction. Gerry had many challenging and fun activities while raising his family of five, and is very proud of his adult children. Gerry retired from IBM in 1996, and from Lockheed Martin Corp., in 1999, after a very satisfying professional career. He and Diane traveled extensively from ’99 through 2009, enjoying many interesting vacation adventures while working on their “Bucket Lists”. In 2009 they decided to become foster parents, beginning a new “old” chapter in Gerry’s life, which is currently underway.
Diane Amelia Patterson was born to Chalmers and Lula Belle Patterson on February 2, 1943 at Garfield Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. She grew up in Washington D. C. and enjoyed the love and support of a large extended family. Her parents had migrated from the south, so there were farms and family to visit often in the Carolinas. She loved the countryside, values, and Southern lifestyle.
She was an only child until her twin siblings, Chalmers Jr., and Charlind Patterson were born on November 29, 1955, when she was 13years. Prior to Junie and Linny’s arrival Diane was a frequent visitor to the Library where she enjoyed reading all the books in the A section (Animals, Africa, Alaska, etc.). These interests enticed her to want to travel and she eventually worked for an airline and later started her own agency, Columbia Travel, with her close friend, Wokie Dick.
She and Gerry were married at age 20 and were blessed with 3 wonderful sons, Todd, Marc and Evan Tolson. After the death of her mother, they moved to Columbia so that Junie, Linny, and the boys could have the benefit of an excellent education. After Junie and Linny left home to begin their independent lives, Diane and Gerry welcomed 2 daughters, Stephanie and Patricia into their family.
Diane has experienced these last 50 years of fun, excitement, and learning. Gerry has been an amazing partner, and she eagerly looks forward to the next 50 years ……………………
Diane and Gerry were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Montgomery County, MD
Though they had been able to travel before, since Gerry and Diane both retired in 1999 they have been able to take quite a few cruises and extended vacation trips. The idea was to get to experience many of the interesting and pleasureable places and activities while they could still run, jump, and dance, before they might have to do them in wheelchairs.
Diane has been very healthy, and since 2000, Gerry has had to have a few body parts (knees, Hips, etc.) replaced. He is also pretty healthy, and his body's salvage value has gone up quite a bit because of all the titanium he now carries around.
In 2006, Diane fulfilled a lifelong dream and bought her horse, Laezada, a white Arabian. She has learned how to ride and has also participated in several shows with her horse.
After undergoing hip and knee replacement in 2005, and 2006, and the comprehensive rehabilitations associated with each of them. Gerry celebrated not being in rehab in the summer of 2007 by buying a convertible, now that he was again able to get in and out of one.
After being empty nesters for just about 10 years, Gerry and Diane decided to become foster parents in 2009, and were joined by the Lopez siblings in 2010.
After 11 years of retirement, Gerry went back to work in 2010, joining his former colleague, Ed Combs at his company, The Citadel Group (TCG). He enjoys being able to use his prior experience and skills, and is able to work primarily from home.
Diane began taking Spanish lessons at Howard Community College in 2010. She's back in school with students the age of her grandkids, but she's holding her own.
Both Diane and Gerry continue to enjoy their friends and families during visits, family events, and other social activities.
Welcome to our 50th Anniversary Celibration website! Our daughter Dawn created this space as a special way for friends and family to participate and celebrate with us - anytime, from anywhere. We hope you enjoy browsing these pages for photos and stories about us and our future plans. And while you are here, please sign our guestbook!