KEARNS —Dennis and Karon Moriarty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their marriage vows during a Mass celebrated by their son, Father Robert Moriarty, at Saint Francis Xavier Parish June 9, where he is pastor and they are members. The couple was married June 9, 1962 at Sacred Heart Parish in Salt Lake City.
"It was a privilege to have our son renew our vows on our 50th anniversary," said Dennis. "It was all his idea and we were surprised."
In his homily, Fr. Moriarty described his parents as lovebirds; two people who only have eyes for each other. "They really knew what it meant when they said, ‘Until death do us part, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health and for richer or poorer,’" he said.
The couple and their two sons were members of St. Francis Xavier Parish for 11 years before becoming members of Saints Peter and Paul Parish when it opened in 1972. They returned to St. Francis Xavier Parish when Fr. Moriarty became its pastor in 2004.
They met at Karon’s parents’ drive-in, the Polar King. "It was a hamburger stand and Dennis used to come in and have coffee with my dad," said Karon. "I was jealous so I decided to talk to him."
Dennis was in RCIA at the time at Sacred Heart Parish. "I was drawn to the Church by the Holy Spirit because I went there on my own," said Dennis. "Before that I had no religion at all."
Religion has always come first in the couple’s lives and is what drew them together.
"I knew she was Catholic and one day I asked her if she would like to go to the classes with me," said Dennis.
"And that was it," added Karon. "We went together from then on and did everything together."
They started dating in November, were engaged by March and married in June. When they got married, they were managing Jack’s Drive-in. "We loved it," said Karon. "We shut down one Saturday to get married, took a trip to Bridal Veil Falls, and opened up on Monday."
The qualities they appreciate in each other revolve around their religion, they said.
"Karon is also very caring," said Dennis.
Karon agreed Dennis is also caring and they like being able to depend on each other.
Within the first five years of their marriage Dennis became very ill. "The doctors didn’t expect him to live," said Karon.
"She saved my life by making me eat because I had lost my appetite and wasn’t doing very well," said Dennis.
The couple loves their sons equally and are equally proud of both of them; the oldest being a police officer and Fr. Moriarty a priest, but having a priest in the family is special, they said.
"To have Rob be a priest and be close to our home is a privilege," said Karon.
The couple attends Mass every Saturday and helps out in the parish wherever they can. Dennis has always helped out in the parish. At Sts. Peter and Paul he worked on the grounds and did bookkeeping.
The couple credits their faith for the success of their marriage. "I always knew we would have grace if we had a problem," said Karon. "We told each other, ‘if you give me any trouble, I’ll haul you off to the priest.’"
"The word divorce never came into our vocabulary," added Dennis.
Dennis and Karon would advise a young couple considering marriage to follow the Catholic Church’s teachings and to pray if they have a problem, they said.
"The vows you take are a commitment for life," said Dennis.