2016-10-27 / Front Page

Halloween a big day for bride, groom

Wedding bells and costumes
By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff


DALE BAKER and Northport area resident Judy Martin will be dressed as a scarecrow and an ‘old crow’ when they tie the knot Monday at the county building. DALE BAKER and Northport area resident Judy Martin will be dressed as a scarecrow and an ‘old crow’ when they tie the knot Monday at the county building. Dale Baker isn’t easily spooked.

Neither is his longtime love, Judy Martin of Northport.

The couple — Dale, age 67 and Judy, 73 — is scheduled to be married on Halloween at the County Building in Suttons Bay Township.

The bride, who calls herself a “cougar” as she’s six years her fiance’s senior, will be dressed as an “old crow;” the groom as a scarecrow.

And the fun continues with the wedding party. Matron of honor Olivia Paramo, also of Northport, will be dressed as a witch. Baker’s cousin and best man Gary McKay is also expected to “dress up” for the occasion.

“When he asked me to marry him, I knew it would have to be on Halloween,” Martin said. “It’s my favorite holiday,” she said.

Martin and Baker met while both were working in the mental health field in Owosso.

That was 1989. During their nearly 30-year courtship, both maintained their own homes and the have not lived together. In fact, for the last 11 years, Martin and Baker have had a long-distance relationship.

“I guess we’ve never gotten married before, because it never seemed necessary,” she said.

Martin, who began visiting Leelanau County as a child tagging along with her aunts, made the Little Finger her home when she retired in 2005. Baker was supposed to have retired two years ago, but things didn’t turn out as planned.

“He was going to retire, but the office was shorthanded. They asked him to fill in here or there,” Martin said. “Two years later, he’s still working two or three days a week.”

So how have they managed to keep the love light glowing while Martin’s here and Baker is there?

She often makes the more than 200-mile trip to Owosso — and since her retirement, she takes her time doing it.

“I poke along. I don’t like traveling on the expressway,” she said. “It takes about 4 1/2 hours.”

Advances in communication have also helped the couple remain close.

“We’re not stumbling over each other all the time,” she said.

In fact, it was over the phone that Baker, who has never been married, popped the question.

“He called me and said he wanted to get married before the end of the year,” Martin said, of the proposal which she accepted a couple of months ago. “I’ve been running myself ragged ever since.”

Martin’s three children — two daughters and a son — were surprised by the engagement.

Her son Philip LaGuire of Chicago, his wife, Patti, and Martin’s 3-yearold granddaughter Alexandra will be at the ceremony.

“I don’t know if my son and daughter in-law will be in costume, but my granddaughter definitely will be,” said the soon-to-be-bride.

Her children are catering the reception, which will be held in the clubhouse of Cherry Home Subdivision where Martin lives.

“We’ll have all kinds of decorations,” Martin said. “At last count, I think we were at about 40 people.”

As for the 2 p.m. ceremony, county Clerk Michelle L. Crocker will be officiating.

She plans to be in costume, too. In fact, most of the county staff will be dressed up and different offices will be decorated to welcome trick-or-treaters for a second-straight year from 2 to 5 p.m.

“I don’t know what I’ll be wearing, but I’ll be dressed up,” Crocker said.

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