Married 69 years and still feeling blessed, loved
By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Reporter
KANSAS CITY - The year was 1933. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Prohibition ended. FM radio and the Hammond organ were introduced. Fireside chats and the New Deal were bywords. And on Nov. 28 that year Barney and Rosemarie Maguire were married at the former Holy Name Church.
Marty Denzer/Key photo
Barney and Rosemarie Maguire stand with Father Bill Bauman as Deacon Ken Greene of the diocesan Family Life Office presents them with a plaque.
They celebrated their 69th anniversary last year, and on Feb. 23, 2003, were honored at a Mass at St. Thomas More Church.
Deacon Ken Greene, of the diocesan Family Life Office, presented the couple with a plaque commemorating their marriage commitment. It was signed by Bishop Raymond J. Boland.
The Maguires, parents of four daughters, moved into St. Elizabeth Parish when their children were young, and remained there for 28 years. In 1969, they moved into St. Thomas More Parish.
"We weren't all that young when we married," Rosemarie said. "I was 20 and Barney was 23. Now I'm 89 and he's 92," she said.
Contests are held each year for the longest married couple in dioceses around the world. A few months ago, one of their daughters, Kathleen, nominated Barney and Rosemarie for the longest married couple in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
The couple was vacationing with family in South Padre Island, Texas, when World Marriage Day was celebrated on Feb. 9, so the certificate honoring them as the longest married couple in the diocese was mailed to them.
"Rosemarie's already framed it," Barney said, laughing.
The Maguires began celebrating anniversaries with family photographs with their 50th, Rosemarie said. Hanging in places of honor in their living room are photos of the 50th, 60th and 65th anniversaries.
"There are 64 and a half people in the 65th anniversary photograph, which is over the fireplace," she said.
Laughing into the puzzled silence, she said, "Well, one was on the way."
The Maguires have four daughters, 17 grandchildren and 34 and a half great-grandchildren. (One is on the way.) A great-granddaughter is planning a June wedding after she graduates from college in May.
Rosemarie said the family's faith has had a lot of influence.
"I believe our Catholic faith has had an impact on our whole family," she said. In fact, the Maguire family tree is full of successful marriages, she said.
Despite a few health problems, both Barney and Rosemarie attend Mass, throw occasional parties and travel. They are contented and, as Rosemarie said, "All my memories are special ones. We're very blessed to be together and have such a wonderful family."
While not offering advice for the soon-to-be-married, she said having "a very calm, patient spouse helps a lot."
Deacon Greene told the Maguires they are "a sign of love for all here at St. Thomas More and for your family as they were the ones who nominated you."
The couple was also presented with a framed print of the Hands of Matrimony, by Mike and Collette Koll of St. Patrick parish, co-leaders of Worldwide Marriage Encounter in this diocese.
Rosemarie said they planned to celebrate their 70th anniversary in November with a Mass and family gathering.