What started out as two college students working at a Pizza Hut in Huntington Beach blossomed into a relationship lasting over three decades between Hollister residents Bill and Debbi Parcell. The Parcells, who have lived in San Benito County since 1997, teach at Rancho San Justo Middle School.
“We have been together for 32 years,” said Debbi. “We are having our 30th wedding anniversary this October.”
When looking at what contributed to the success of their relationship, the Parcells checked off friendship and a desire to better one another’s lives.
“The key to a lasting relationship is to marry your best friend,” Bill Parcell said. “I like doing everything with my wife. If we are not together, I tend to miss her and wish she was there.
Debbi called her husband “the most fun person I know,” for her the key to a successful relationship started with learning how to grow together as a team.
“We always take each other into consideration when making a decision that will affect both of us,” Debbi said.
Part of this team effort included raising two sons in San Benito County and being an active part of their lives. Between being involved in scouting, coaching local sports teams, and their local church when their boys were young, the Parcells found a place where their whole family could flourish.
“There were always plenty of activities for the boys to enjoy, from fishing and sailing at San Justo Reservoir (now sadly closed), to riding bikes all around town,” Debbi said. “The schools in town are excellent, and our boys had amazing teachers throughout their education here in Hollister. As a couple, we have been very fortunate to meet many incredible people. We have so many friends here in town. Many we met because our children played sports, participated in scouts, and were involved with church youth groups.”
When asked what advice they would give to people dating and/or seriously considering marriage, Debbi and Bill had clear advice to share.
“My advice would be to focus on being thoughtful and considerate to your boyfriend/girlfriend,” Debbi said.
For Bill, actively being involved in common interests is key.
“Find things you like to do together, and find friends that enjoy those same things,” Bill said. “If you are considering marriage, take a couple of trips together and see how that goes. If you can travel together, there is hope.”