D.J. Orton (center) holds the marriage license delivered on May 10 by Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross (left). Orton is now married to Jessica Bush (right). COURTESY PHOTO

Town Manager Redefines ‘Full Service Town’

D.J. Orton (center) holds the marriage license delivered on May 10 by Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross (left). Orton is now married to Jessica Bush (right). COURTESY PHOTO

D.J. Orton (center) holds the marriage license delivered on May 10 by Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross (left). Orton is now married to Jessica Bush (right). COURTESY PHOTO

“Full service town” took on a new meaning on May 10 when D.J. Orton’s marriage license was hand-delivered to his parents’ Nabnasset home by Town Manager Jodi Ross.

With the wedding just a day or two away, D.J. and his fiancee Jessica Bush arrived from Washington, D.C., where they live, with no time to spare before their May 12 wedding in Salem. Things were hectic, said his mother, Carol Orton.

Carol and her husband Doug live just two doors down from Ross and the couple has become good friends with the town manager over the past eight years. Carol Orton and Ross paddle-board and kayak together and “probably met on a boat,” said Orton, noting that they both take full advantage of their Nabnasset Lake access.

So when Ross saw how much scurrying was going on in preparation of the wedding, she offered to help.

“‘Can you pick up D.J.’s marriage license at Town Hall?'” Orton said she asked of Ross.

Ross said she happily complied.

“They were very busy getting ready for the out of town event and (they) thought since I was already at the Town Hall perhaps I wouldn’t mind,” she stated. “I delivered the marriage license in person and told them we are a full service town, when the town manager delivers marriage licenses to your front door!”

That’s what made it special for Carol.

“It’s just a nice small town atmosphere we have here,” she said, “and what Jodi did personifies that.”

With license in hand, the wedding went off without a hitch, enhanced by a tight-knit group of Westford Academy alumni from the Class of 2005, all there to celebrate D.J.’s marriage to Bush.

No sooner was D.J.’s wedding over then Orton and her husband were planning another. Daughter Sarah, 28, is marrying Tim Lynam of Chelmsford in July. But this wedding is taking place in Vermont, meaning Ross can’t help with the marriage license.

“…Jody can’t deliver that one,” Orton quipped.

D.J., short for Doug Junior, and Jessica met in D.C. while playing on an adult intramural softball team. He’s a project manager for Grant Thornton and she works for Microsoft as a project manager.

Marriage is definitely a family affair in the Orton household. Carol and Doug met as high school freshmen in Wilbraham and have been together ever since. In August they will celebrate 36 years of marriage.

And there’s one more Orton child to go — 24-year-old Tim Orton who has no immediate marriage plans, said his mother.

“He’s an eligible bachelor,” she said.

UPDATE – Carol and Doug’s years of marriage was added to the story.