Jim and Terri Donaldson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past December.
In 1966, fresh out of the Navy, Jim met California girl Terri Speight while attending Northern Arizona University. Their relationship quickly progressed from their first date at a street dance in October, to their engagement the following June, to their marriage over Christmas break in December of 1967.
After adding their first daughter to the family and graduating from college, they spent two years in Salem, Oregon, where Jim worked for the police force while attending law school and Terri began her teaching career.
They spent the next five years in Southern California, where they welcomed their second daughter and continued their careers in law enforcement and teaching.
Wanting to raise their kids in the country, they moved back to Oregon and settled in Dallas, a small town just outside of Salem. During these years, Jim made a career change into the world of insurance eventually becoming an agent with State Farm. They added a son and another daughter to their family; and Terri transitioned from teaching public school to teaching her own children at home.
In 1987, Jim’s career brought them to the Helena Valley where they have made their home ever since. Children have always been a passion for Jim and Terri, which has played out over the years in many ways. They started serving as foster parents and, after moving to Montana, added nine more children to their family through adoption.
They have made multiple trips to Central and South America to volunteer at orphanages and even started a nonprofit ministry to fund raise and support orphans there. Jim and Terri have 13 children plus 19 grandchildren and counting. They continue to serve the next generation through their support of Helena Christian School and other charities.
Thanks Mom and Dad for making family a high priority, modeling a life of servanthood, and passing on a legacy of love to all of us! Congratulations on 50 years!