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Golden years

When they said "I do," they meant it to last a lifetime.

Couples who have been married 50 years or more were honored earlier this month with a 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass at St. Thomas Catholic Church. The celebration also included people, who, but the for the death of a spouse, would have been married 50 years.

"I always look forward to this celebration ... because of you," said Father Greg Esty in his homily.

He asked those in attendance to name the qualities couples must have to have an enduring marriage. The list includes patience, understanding and communication.

"Not always insisting on my way is the only way is helpful," Esty said. "It also takes a good sense of humor. Thanks to all of you for the witness of your love."

The service was followed by a luncheon in the activities building amid golden decorations. It also included wine for toasting.

Three couples, during the luncheon, offered to share stories about the first time they met each other.

Ron and Joyce Cassellius met in first grade, but after that she went to St. Agnes Catholic School and he went to St. Vincent's.

They met again when they were age 16. "I remember you," he said, recalling what he said to Joyce. They attended dances on Friday evenings hosted by the Knights of Columbus.

"You see, I married my first-grade sweetheart," Ron said.

Romance for Dan and Esther Moriarty began in Enderlin, N.D.

"My younger sister was going with his brother," Esther said.

Dan's brother told him he wanted Dan to meet the girl he was dating. "My brother didn't know there was an older sister," he said.

"When I saw her I said 'bingo," said Dan, who was on leave from the Marines at the time.

It was apparently love at first sight for the couple, who have been married 60 years.

"I think we went to the movies," said Esther, who was 20 years old. Dan was 22 and went on to become a teacher, spending his entire career at Park High School.

"Her parents were very accommodating and left us alone in the parlor," said Dan, adding that his brother and Esther's sister were on the porch.

Dan and Esther got married later, but that night on the porch was the last date for his brother and her sister.

"It was the last time for them and the first time for us," Dan said.

Marty and Doralene "Dolly" Lynch's life together began at the Rosetown Fireman's Ball in Roseville.

"I saw this beautiful young lady and asked her to dance," Marty said. Dolly accepted.

The next day, they attended a church service. "We drove around and went to Como Park," Marty said.

Dolly lived in Austin, Minn., so love blossomed through letters they exchanged.

They married after Marty graduated from St. Thomas College. At the time he retired, he was Park High School principal.

The couple had eight children, seven of them living. They have 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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