Lifelong Laurel residents Wayne and Nancy (formerly Feick) Becraft celebrated 50 years of marriage on Aug. 1, 2014, at an intimate family gathering with their son Jeff, daughter-in-law Suzette, grandkids Spencer, Grace and Evan; and their son Mark, daughter-in-law Sheri, and grandkids Sean and Rebecca.
Wayne and Nancy met while both were attending Laurel High School, and were married at First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Laurel, where they continue to be active members. They have served for years as Youth Fellowship leaders, Sunday school teachers and on various committees, most recently as chair and secretary of the Administrative Board.
Nancy, who formerly worked in the admissions office at Laurel Regional Hospital, retired three years ago from the city of Laurel, Department of Parks and Recreation. Nancy and Wayne are Realtors with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
Prior to embarking on his real estate career, Wayne served for many years as director of admission and registration services for the University of Maryland University College, and later as executive director for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and as the executive director of the American Physical Therapy Association of Maryland.
Inspired by the passing of their daughter, Michelle, in 1990, at age 22 from an inoperable brain tumor, Wayne and Nancy have been organizers and participants for years in the Laurel Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Nancy served as the chairwoman of the Laurel Relay for four of its first five years and has served on the Relay's executive committee since it began in Laurel 16 years ago. They also sponsor a scholarship in Michelle's name that they have awarded annually since her passing to a Laurel High School student who exemplifies Michelle's school spirit.
Attendees of the Laurel Breakfast with Santa event the past few years have also reported that Wayne and Nancy happen to bear a striking resemblance to Santa and Mrs. Claus.