A reception was held on Aug. 36, 2018, at the St. Helena (Calif.) Church’s fireside room in honor of Claude and Doris Sterling's 65th wedding anniversary with 90 people in attendance.
Claude was born in Chehalis, Wash. In 1939, he was baptized in the old Centralia (Wash.) Church because the Chehalis Church did not have a baptistry. From fourth to ninth grade, he attended church school in the Centralia Church. He then attended Auburn Academy, graduating in 1947. Next came Walla Walla College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in engineering in 1951. He then worked as an electrical engineer at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.
Claude would frequently visit his parents in Chehalis. During the winter of 1952–53 while at church, he met a young lady by the name of Doris McNeil. Her family home was in Curtis, Wash., and Doris graduated from Boistfort High School. Doris was working at the Steck Clinic in Chehalis and was taking Bible studies to learn about "The Blessed Hope." Doris was baptized in the spring of 1953 in Chehalis. Claude and Doris’ friendship grew rather rapidly, and they were married in the Chehalis Church on Aug. 30, 1953.
The couple made their home in Bremerton until in the spring of 1954, when Claude was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and was later reassigned to First Army Medical Lab in New York City. After discharge in 1956, the couple returned to Bremerton to Claude's former job.
In June 1957, the couple had a son, Rodney. Later that year, Claude accepted a position at Pacific Union College (PUC) in Angwin, Calif. For 22 years, Claude worked for PUC in various levels of facilities management, ultimately as associate business manager.
A second son, Keith, was born in 1959. Doris was a stay-at-home mom until the boys started school, then she worked part-time as bookkeeper for the college Chevron station. As the boys became Pathfinder age, Claude and Doris became Master Guides and were involved with Pathfinders for several years.
Claude accepted a call in 1979 to serve as director of telecommunications at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, where he managed the installation of $3 million worth of telephone equipment. The pair made their home in Yucaipa, Calif., and were active in the Yucaipa Church.
In 1981, Claude received a Master of Business Administration degree in management from California's Golden Gate University. During this time, Claude and Doris participated in many weekend campouts with the Palomar Nature Club.
Claude accepted a position in 1983 with a telephone equipment manufacturer Northern Telecom and had an office in Walnut Creek and later Santa Clara. The Sterlings made their home in Martinez and became members of and served the Concord Church.
Soon after moving to Martinez, they were able to acquire a new motor home and spent many weekends with the El Dorado Nature Club. Doris worked in the trust department of the Northern California Conference during this time.
Claude took an early retirement in 1992, and they moved back to their home in Angwin, where they are still able to live comfortably by themselves with some help from their two sons. For nearly 22 years they were members of the Elmshaven Church, where Claude and Doris served. Retirement provided opportunity to camp with the El Dorado Nature Club as well as travel by motor home, plane and cruise chip. Most recently they have been members of the St. Helena Church.
Claude and Doris have two sons, Rodney and Keith, and one granddaughter, Kelli Anne, who teaches fifth and sixth grades at Orangevale Junior Academy near Sacramento, Calif.