S: Dennis and Mary Lou York - 40th Anniversary
BC: Happy 40th Anniversary! Wishing you many more! The Ryan York Family and the Matthew York Family
FC: ~ Love ~ True love stories never have endings. ~Richard Bach | Dennis and Mary Lou York Happy 40th Anniversary
1: On April 24th, 1971 Dennis York and Mary Lou Ryan were married at St Francis of Assisi Church in Louisville, KY
2: It was a beautiful Spring Day! The perfect place to start a wonderful journey!
3: That journey started out in a small Holiday Inn near Mammoth Caves! Then they left Kentucky, and poor young Mrs. York was sent half-way across the Country to the state of Iowa.
4: Back in Iowa, there was a reception at Bud & Connie's House for the Newlyweds
5: Before it all began! | And now the 70s
6: The 70s
8: The 80s
10: T H E 9 0 s
11: After 28 Years of Marriage...finally here comes the girls
12: Traveling with our children
14: Lots and lots of good times.
16: Having fun being Grandparents
19: MEMORIES FROM OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
20: When asking people of your parent's age for stories please keep in mind the accuracy might not be 100%!! 1. The Kelly and York families planned picnics on Memorial Day for a few years. One year we picnicked in winter coats it was that cold. Another year a game of softball was in the works when Mike hit a line drive and it hit Denny square in the mouth. The rest of that picnic Denny held his cold beer can on his fat lip instead of drinking it like would have been his preference. 2. Not sure if this was just our families or perhaps an Indian Guide outing but we were at Bambis on Army Post, a pizza place. The guy that owned the place was a real crazy kind of guy. He would hit a button which set off a fire alarm sound and a red light flashing, then he would come out in his fireman gear with a fire extinguisher in hand and go around putting the nozzle under the table and turn the thing on. Don't think your parents knew of this unexpected "fun" so when he let that thing go under our booth it took them both by surprise. Needless to say your dad's face was as red as the red flashing light, maybe redder. Not sure if your family went back, did you? 3. Speaking for many women that attended the St. Anthony 50's, 60's dances, I think we were all a little jealous of your mom cause she had a husband that would dance, not only would but did and was darn good at it on top of it. Or maybe Mary Lou wasn't happy with us as we would try to get Denny to dance with us and leave her on the sidelines. | From Marylee Kelly
21: Dear Mary Lou and Dennis, When I received Matt and Ryan’s letter, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Had it really been 40+ years since that fateful night when you and Dennis met at the USO dance in Louisville? He not only “swept you off your feet”, but he took my “best friend” half way across the country!! Well, maybe Iowa’s not that far, but it seemed like it at the time. I remember shedding a lot of tears with your Dad after your wedding. Mary Lou, I realize that miles can’t take away our deep friendship that was formed so long ago as Freshmen at Ursuline Academy. It’s revived each time we talk on the phone or get together. You are the “sister” I never had and much more. To mention just a few things -- I remember the dances we went to, our trips to California and Florida, and cruising round Louisville when we bought our cars. We thought we were really “COOL” then!! Dennis, I do forgive you for taking my best friend so far away. Without a doubt, you two were meant to be together! You compliment each other, and have two great sons to be proud of. They have taken your love and good example and made great choices for their marriages. And, you now have three beautiful granddaughters to love and spoil. What a wonderful legacy you have given them! Guess I’ve gone on long enough. So in closing - I wish you both a Happy 40th Anniversary, and I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family in the years to come with good health and happiness. | From Ida Ferree
22: I remember when I was really little probably 5 or 6 and Uncle Denny was in the military and home for a short time. He came over to Grandma and Grandpa's house and he was dressed in his military dress uniform. I can still remember it as if it were today. I was so proud to have an Uncle who was in the military. He was so impressive looking to me. I ran up to him and proudly gave him a hug. He acted like he hated it but I know down deep he really loved it because I am his favorite nephew! I would tell all my friends about him and tell them he drove a tank even though I don't think he really did. He was the first to give me a great sense of patriotism for our country. Without exaggeration just about every time I see someone in military dress uniform it brings tears to my eyes. To this day my favorite musicals to do as a Music Pastor are Patriotic musicals. Today though I remember you like the picture I attached with this letter. Ha! Ha! Just kidding. I love you Uncle Denny and Aunt Mary Lou and wish over the years we didn't live so far a part so we could have spent a lot more time together. God bless you both and happy 40th!! | From Mark Merical
23: The family bond we had was like we were really related. We have so many memories of many pool parties. It wasn't a real party unless all the kids and parents were sitting by the pool, eating and sipping beverages!! Mary Lou would get sunburned and the next day the redness would go away. That's tough Irish skin!! Denny tried to be serious, til a few beers got into him. Then it was off the diving board! My favorite present was gallons of anti-freeze for the winterizing the pool. What a hit! I will remember those days of summer forever. Happy 40th Anniversary, | From Rosie and Joe Cordaro | Slush
24: From Jon and Vicki Hogbin | Jon & I remember all the Pizza/Cards Friday nights with Mary Lou and Denny when we were first married. Jon knew Denny and Mary Lou before he and I got married. I actually met them at our wedding. Very soon we became fast friends. Because Denny and Lou had kids, we usually went to their house almost every Friday night. After bedtime for the kids, we would cook up our frozen “Jack’s” pizzas and play cards. Probably doesn’t sound too exciting to many, but we always seemed to have a great time and a lot of laughs. We were such good friends that Denny called us in the middle of the night when Mary Lou was ready to go to the hospital to deliver Matt. We lived fairly close so wouldn’t take us long to get there. However, I am sure Denny would be the first to tell you that it took longer than he would have wanted because “Vicki took time to brush her teeth and get dressed for work the next day”. There are so many special memories with the York’s through all of these years. A lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Denny and Lou congratulations on 40 years of marriage. We wish you many, many, more.
25: From Terry and Barb Van Gorp | Happy 40th Anniversary! We are so happy for you and count it a privilege to have know you for all of those years. Denny, we first met you when you were visiting Ron and Bonnie in Binghamton, New York in 1970. You had just gotten out of the military and was planning a return to Des Moines for a job. We lived upstairs from Bonnie and you decided to come up and meet us and our cat. We later learned that you had gotten engaged to Mary Lou and planned to be married the next spring. So when we moved to Ankeny the next year we made plans to meet you and your new bride. From our first meeting we became friends. For the next two years we enjoyed getting together with both of you to play card games, seeing the sights of Des Moines, and just hanging out together. Another plus was that Barb was able to work at the mortgage company with Mary Lou. While we were there Ryan was born and then just before we left Barb became pregnant with Traci. Over the years we have enjoyed visiting you and your family in Des Moines and the times you were able to stop and see us in Indiana. Letters, pictures, and phone calls have kept us up to date on what was happening in each others lives. Even though we have not lived close to each other for the past 38 years, we have been able to keep our friendship going which has been such a blessing to us. Thank you for so much love and concern for our family. May God bless you with many more years.
26: From Judy and John Balducchi | We all remember Den and Mary Lou's super 50's dancing abilities. Den is like Fred Astaire!! I remember all the twirling and whirling and turning people upside down when they weren't looking. I especially remember one time when he came up behind me and & turned me upside down & I was totally caught off guard but worse than that I was wearing a skirt. Mary Lou was mortified and yelled at him. :) Not that that would stop Den. We used to have some fun times with them at the Val Air when we all used to go dancing all the time. You guys are the very best, we love your early and miss not seeing you very often.
27: From Maxine and Mike Flaherty | As we reflect about all the good times we've shared in the PAST, we remember... St. Anthony Church & School, Dowling High School, and the Val Air Ballroom! NOW, we wish you a very HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY looking forward to the FUTURE, continuing to make more memories together! Wishing you God's blessings always
28: Jerry and Florence Roth wish you a Happy 40th Anniversary! Pictures are worth a 1000 words and memories
29: One day when I was in seminary I received a letter from mom and she mentioned that Mary Lou was going to Y for dances with soldiers from Knox. Later on I met some soldier from Iowa that she was seeing. He was sent to Vietnam and I thought he would return to Iowa we would not see him again. By then, I was drafted and sent to Vietnam. I receive a letter from mom that Den and Mary Lou had been seeing each other. Mary Lou wrote that they were getting married. I wish I could have been there, but I had already extended my time in Vietnam. I was able to help Mary Lou get the china from the PX . After I returned home I really got to known Den and what a special person he is and great addition to our family. I have always admired the respect you both show to each other and smile on your face when you look at each other. Happy 40 Anniversary! | From Joe and Linda Ryan
30: I’ll never forget the day I overheard Aunt Janice ask Aunt Lou “Did you lose weight... or are those pants just holding you in??” Or... of course I don’t remember this.,. but others won’t let me forget..that the first time Aunt Lou held me.. I pooped on her new nightgown Or.. My fondest memory of Uncle Denny was him groaning in pain the day after Lauren’s wedding from one too many high kicks. From showing off his dancing skills doing the Can Can!! A pulled groin even in the name of family is never a pleasant experience! | From Emily Teaford
31: From Erin Willis | There are so many fun memories throughout the years but a few that come to mind are....When Aunt Lou came to babysit us when while Mom and Dad went on convention (we won't go into further detail about that one, what happens in Louisville, stays in Louisville!) Aunt Lou losing her camera and being called out by the DJ at our wedding, and Drew and Uncle Denny spending countless time in the "cave"....but most of all we truly appreciate all the love and support they've shown us over the years! What a great example of a long lasting marriage! Happy 40th Anniversary!
32: From Ann Teaford | One of my memories of Den was when I played basketball in High School. One game we played on a Sunday way out on Dixie Highway and Mary Lou was to pick me up. It was a long and tough game, and I kept thinking all I wanted to do when she got there is to go home, get something to eat and go to bed. But NO!! to my surprise when she picked me up, who was with her but Soldier Boy--Dennis York. Before I got home we had to ride all the way to Fort Knox to drop him off. To say the least I was so mad all the way to out there and back, which took forever in those days! One of the first times I met Dennis York, he came to breakfast at our house. I was amazed at the food he ate. He could really put it away! I had never seen anyone eat like that...I thought the Army sure must not be feeding him. When Mary Lou and Den got married. I put an old fashioned long PJs with feet. (Onezy,) in her luggage for a for a honeymoon joke! When they got back I asked her about the PJ’s, and her reply was, "What PJ’s!?”
33: From Steve Teaford | I remember the first time I met Mary Lou and Dennis, the first time I had ever been to Iowa. Aside from being nervous about meeting the “older sister”, who surely was checking me out!! Then Ann getting lost 5 times from Altoona (long before cell phones), I do remember the AE Cow!! | Finally arriving and within what seemed like minutes of us getting there, they took off shopping (normal to this day!)...and here Den and I sit... sort of uhhh... well now..... and then he says why don’t we go get some lunch . I will always remember the absolutely original family Italian restaurant he took me too on Indianola Rd not far from the House, been gone many years now, but I will never forget it (and that lunch also meant beer or two!!) And great conversation, I had a wonderful time with great folks that weekend.. .. and who knew then... there would be many other trips to Iowa over the years.. and they would become Aunt Lou and Uncle Denny to me... and me Uncle Steve to them...
34: From Betty Grove | During Matt and Jenn's time of their courtship and their marriage, Dick and I have been with Dennis and Mary Lou on many occasions. One such occasion was before Matt and Jenn were married. We had invited Dennis and Mary Lou to come and play in a 4 couple best shot golf tournament at the local golf course near our home in New London. To complicate the game, it was a "glow ball" tournament. It was played in the dark with only the use of a flashlight and golf balls that glowed in the dark. It was 4 couples so the 4 men and 4 women each alternated hitting the ball. So you are looking for 4 balls on each hit. Mary Lou had not played much golf, but she was a good sport about it. The other 2 couples enjoyed playing with Dennis and Mary Lou that night. There was much kidding and laughing and Dennis and Mary Lou joined right in. I am not sure if Mary Lou has played golf since. Another fond memory was the "trading of the goose". Dick had to have the geese that Denny and Mary Lou were trying to sell. Then they were sent back and forth for many years. Many laughs came out of those 2 small geese. DIck and I always enjoyed Dennis and Mary Lou when we were together. They have been "great in-laws" to Jennifer and we appreciated the way they welcomed her into their family.
35: From Janice and Tim Norton | The greatest thing about Mary Lou & Dennis getting married they sold me the 1965 Chevrolet Biscayne, if my memory is correct it was for $500. Mom didn't think it would make it to Des Moines. We sold the car in 1977 with 165,000 miles on the odometer and several trips back and forth from Baltimore. (Found one for sale on the internet for $8000. If we win the lottery the I will buy her one). Tim and I would like to wish you a Happy 40th. You both look fabulous and here's hoping many, many, more happy years together.
36: I wanted to think of some really interesting stories, but you're dealing with someone older than you both and thinking back is really hard to do. I went through some pictures and came across a few that brought back the years. * Denny with Frisky. Now that was a cute dog and our only dog. We got him from our next door neighbors. Patty had a Pekingese and Gary had the Beagle. * The only thing I remember about you playing ball was the time I went to your game and asked mom and dad if we could put a car on lay-a way. I guess you must have been around 14. I'm sure I watched you play but my mind was somewhere else. * Next thing I knew you had graduated from East High and were going into the Army. I worried about you like everyone else, but you did just fine. You were so good looking in your uniform - is that how you caught Mary Lou's eye? * Next thing we hear, you were getting married. The Kentucky girl won your heart and the Iowa boy brought her back to us. I remember the reception at Bud & Connie's house with Juli on the guest book. That was some day. * Did I mention how handsome you were (are)? I really like the picture of you beside the CAR. Look really close behind and you will see that the city planted a little tree in the parking. We all have memories of that tree. That's all I have with pictures, but you have to remember the ice cream on the way home from taking dad to work and also don't forget the A&P trip when we got out of the car when told not to and I, for one, got her spanking from dad. Not sure who cried more. Guess that's all I have for going down memory lane, but I'm sure you will get some really embarrassing things from others who ca do a better job of remembering. Mom sends her best wishes for a wonderful 40th and want to see the finished book next time you travel our way. | From Dixie and Myrt York
37: From Bonnie and Pat Riley | Congratulations on your 40th Anniversary. I'll be 94 when we celebrate our 40th. I'm sure you will enjoy your special day with family and friends. Hope you enjoyed the pictures we've gathered from old days. You've been a good brother even though I'm older and didn't spend a lot of time with you, you've made me proud of you as you've worked hard, been a faithful husband, father, and grandfather. May God continue to bless you and Mary Lou with good health and a long life.
38: Always There by Ryan I’ve been around for a lot of this marriage and here’s what I remember the most of my 38+ years with Mom & Dad: * many cars in all colors, with no car seats or seat belts * pinball machines at the bowling alley * road trips of the 12 hour variety to Louisville * standing in the back of Xmas Eve church when the Comet broke down * walking all the way to Park Ave School by myself (wow!) * Floppy Show and visiting Dad at LBS on E. 3rd afterwards * helping mom move vacuums and supplies to clean houses for my education * sweaty tennis matches at parks I didn’t know existed with Mom as driver * my first college football game at ISU in an ice storm with Dad * lots of art classes at the Art Center on Saturday’s * Dad helping coach 6th grade basketball * 5 years of orange slices and treats for Southridge Soccer Club * the stopwatch comes out for track meets * years of concession stand management at Parochial Basketball League * yelling loudly at Clinton, Omaha, and Pickard Park * withstanding my bevy of speeding tickets in high school * allowing the friends to drive to Phoenix for Spring Break * State Track Meet and Graduation * coming up to Ames for fraternity events and Homecoming * an amazing ISU basketball game beating #3 Okla State in OT * a college graduate and then master’s degree, for both your sons! * being patient while I lived at home after college * emergency surgery in Philly, and Mom flying in to the rescue * excited for my marriage, new home, and our dog * a whirlwind Hawaiian holiday, complete with hula lessons with the Japanese * supporting our move to Wisconsin, even with a grandchild in the works * able to be in Milwaukee for your first granddaughter being born * hosting our trips back with Elise, when you really wanted her next door * trip to Talledega for the Papa’s 60th birthday * being there in tough times when your son really needed it * offering open arms for heading back to Iowa to work and live * proudly watching Elise play soccer as I coached * your first stint at dance recitals and makeup and costumes * hopefully knowing that your son does realize you were always there My main goal in parenting now is just being there for Elise, because I know just showing up and positively supporting her is more than so many others expect. Spending my time coaching and helping kids at church is also a reflection of you: be yourself, help others, and let God guide you. Enjoy the rest of your lives together, you are still a great example to many of us.
39: Thoughts from Matthew During the 36+ year of my existence, quite a few things have changed in the York family. The one thing that has never changed is the steadfast love of my parents. I am extremely lucky to be one of the kids growing up that didn’t have to worry about which parent they were spending the weekend with or who was going to be at their game. I always knew that both of you would always be there for me and my brother. I have many vivid memories of my father. During Parents vs. Kids soccer at Weeks – you are lucky to have 2 grandchildren after that fateful game. Trying to teach me to ride a bike without hitting telephone poles. Then there was the emergency financial assistance in order to pay off Jenn’s engagement ring. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you at LBS, not only to make some money in the summer but to teach me that school was important and that I didn’t want to work in a factory our whole life. Then there are the memories of my mother. I remember the day at Betsy Peak’s when you spent almost an hour trying to untangle the metal balls that I got tangled in George’s office. Then there were the summer days that we spent at the Cordaro’s after we begged you to let us go over. I also remember your help when I was the lead in the play at St Anthony’s going through my lines until I would remember them, and buying a new book when I lost it in the process. Of course I can never forget the envelopes that just happened to have extra cash just in case we were actually good and you could spoil us for a little while. The best memories I had did not include just one of you, but time spent with both of my parents. Car rides to Louisville which included the “special” Hy-Vee sodas, Pringles, and Spam. The Florida trip when we almost died twice in Georgia. Walking from Arlington Cemetery to Union Station (3.8 miles). Taking me to Goofy Golf in Louisville. Having a grandchild with a smokers cough at Denny's. Always being my special cheering session at soccer games, basketball, track meets, and cross country meets. Sharing tears as I went away from home for my 1st real job in Belmond, only to see you 10 minutes later because I was locked out of my apartment – then coming back 3 weeks later to move me again. When Jennifer came into my life, you welcomed her with open arms and with the same love and support you gave me. Even though our move to Illinois was probably not your favorite decision that I have made, you allowed us to do what we needed to do without the guilt. I hope that I can teach my children about the love of family and respect for each other that you taught to me. The love and support that you have always given to me and my family can never be paid back. Happy 40th Anniversary!
42: From Jennifer York | It has been almost 16 years since I sat on the loveseat in your living room to meet my future in-laws. Time flies when you are blessed with great in-laws. I wanted to share a few of the memories I have from the past 16 years. -When Matt and I talked you in to going to the cabin for a week with us. I thought we all enjoyed playing games and cards in the evening until Denny threatened to write Milton Bradley because he thought the rules to UNO were stupid. The only problem with this idea was that Milton Bradley did not make this game. I do think we might of improved his mood when we left the cabin to race go karts and go to the logging competition. -Denny comforting me after I quit my job at Orchard Place to marry his son and move to Belmond. -Hanging out with Denny and Mary Lou while Matt lived in Belmond. You always welcomed me into your home. -Glowball golfing at my mom and dad’s house. I think Mary Lou swore she would never touch a golf club again whether it was day or night. -Traveling to Disney with my in-laws. You were good sports about going on the rides until we hit the water park. I believe the family tube ride was first time I heard my mother-in-law swear. I also don’t think my father –in-law recovered from getting air on the water slide. -When Mary Lou and I went on one of our many shopping trips. We were leaving Merle Hay Mall and had a small fender bender as we were leaving our parking spot. The driver of the other car was a little irate. I was ready to defend my mother-in-law to the death however my mother-in-law very calmly told me to stay in the car. I don’t know what transpired outside that car but a couple of days later the irate driver wrote an apology note to her in the paper. -Thankful to have in-laws who were willing to help us move so many times and support us each time, even we will we try to kill Denny in the back of the U-Haul in DeKalb. I have so many wonderful memories of being a part of this family. I believe Matt and I have a strong marriage because of the example you have set. You have shown us how to compromise, love, and respect each other through anything. Thanks for always being for there for us and loving us. I wish you many more years of happiness.