Minden couple celebrate 60th anniversary
October 3, 2017
Longtime Carson Valley veterinarian, Dr. Keith Cornforth, and wife Martha, are celebrating 60 years of marriage on Thursday.
Keith, born and raised in Denver, Colo., was stationed in Oxnard, Calif., with the Air Force when he met Martha Estridge, a southern belle from Ansonville, N.C. She was based in Los Angeles and was flying for United Airlines on the Los Angeles to Hawaii route. The couple met through friends and married at the Little Church Around the Corner in Los Angeles on Oct. 5, 1957. After, Cornforth purchased the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital from Dr. Jack Pitcher in 1957 and brought his new bride to live in Minden.
"As the story goes, the first time Martha flew from Los Angeles to visit him, he picked her up late from the Reno Airport, which in those days consisted of a couple of bar stools and a few slot machines," family members said. "Martha dressed in the ladylike fashion of the day. She was reading when she glanced up to see a pair of manure-covered work boots standing in front of her."
Cornforth had come directly from a call in his 1954 green Oldsmobile that served as his veterinary vehicle.
"It is fair to say that this encounter was the beginning of many situations in which Keith would show up late (and dirty) for special events – including taking Martha to the hospital for the birth of one of their children because he was busy pulling a calf. Needless to say, being married to a rural veterinarian took a bit of adjustment."
Keith worked long hours in the veterinary practice while Martha helped with the books and raised their three girls.
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The couple enjoyed meeting the many locals who would soon become lifelong friends and slowly began to weave their lives into the fabric of the Carson Valley.
Keith was a member of Rotary, the Lions Club, president of the Douglas County School Board, served as the local meat inspector and coached little league. Martha was a registered nurse at Carson-Tahoe Hospital and later worked at the emergency clinic in Gardnerville. She also owns Martha's, her own dress shop. She belonged to Fortnightly and served on the hospital board.
They are parents to three children; Beth Treacy of Chicago, Ill.; Jennifer Berry (Michael), of Evergreen, Colo.; Nancy (Liston) Steel of Long Beach, Calif. They have two grandchildren; Annika Berry lives in Bellingham, Wash., and Tate Berry lives in Sun Valley, Idaho.