The Golden Wedding Anniversary bells were ringing recently for several well known community couples. Dennis and Kathryn Gease of Kenai and Dave and Betty Lowery of Soldotna. Legend has it that Dennis Gease was a state patrol officer in Wisconsin who was stalking the criminal court judge’s assistant Kathryn, “I don’t think we remember that story the same way,” laughed Kathryn, “But we had to see each other at court from time to time but he never asked me out. I went to a party at his house one night and the magic happened; it was just a moment when the earth kind of stood still. We weren’t separated much after that and five months later we were married and yes the magic really is still there fifty years later,” Kathryn told the Dispatch in an interview. Not that the magic wasn’t accompanied by struggles and hard times, “I think it was a God given magic the moment we fell in love and I don’t know how to explain that, but equally I think the struggles too came from God and caused us both the change and grow and become stronger people, but through the hard times there would be these moments of pure magic that actually looking back were like a made for Hollywood movie,” added Kathryn. As they cut “The Cake” at their anniversary celebration and as their kids Wendy and Ricky joined in blowing out the candle followed by an anniversary waltz, indeed the magic between Dennis and Kathryn seemed thicker than the frosting on the cake.
Then out at Mackey Lake July 14th, a half a century of marriage was celebrated by Dave and Betty Lowery. A couple who has also traveled the world but chosen to call Alaska their home, “The wedding that Betty didn’t have was in Basel, Switzerland. We were married by a Swiss judge who spoke only Swiss German and witnessed by an Italian couple who spoke no English and the whole ceremony took five minutes. I wasn’t sure if I was married or joined the Swiss Guard. I was serving the U.S. Military but wasn’t sure what they enlisted me too, so fifty year’s later we renewed our vows here at beautiful Mackey Lake to make sure were really are married. It was beautiful and there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd,” said Dave. “It was wonderful, I was dazzled but amazed that we couldn’t understand anything that was going on, but we figured it out during the honeymoon that was beautiful in Basel where fifty years ago you could do Europe on five dollars a day, but we still ran out of money in about ten days,” recalled Betty.
Though the Lowery’s were married in Switzerland a half century ago, they met in Delaware where Dave used a rather cheesy line to get Betty’s phone number, “I called his office for permission to park my car not knowing who he was and he said he’d have to check and so could he have my phone number to get back with me. I gave it to him and he asked, ‘Well what do I say if your husband answers?’ I said I don’t have a husband and he said Good! How would you like to go out to dinner with me?” she said. “Well she sounded beautiful and not only did she turn out to be, she still is fifty beautiful years later,” said Dave. “They weren’t all easy, we’ve traveled around the world and been to 28 countries, 29 counting Alaska, had two wonderful kids. My mother told me the most important word in the English language was Stick-to-itiveness and you need a lot of that to make a marriage work, but I gave him the option this morning if he didn’t want another fifty he could get out of it,” added Betty. “You have to work as hard at your marriage as you do at your job and not be too proud to give in now and then,” said Dave, who was glad to renew his option for another fifty years. “Our plans are to live as long as we can, as happily as we can and as close as we can enjoying this beautiful place that is our home,” concluded Dave and Betty on their way to forever together.