John Bernard and Bonnie Kathryn (Bell) Hennessy celebrated their 60th anniversary with a luncheon held at Legends in Santa Rosa. The decorations were beautifully arranged by Kathie Servente and Cheryl Hennessy. The luncheon was attended by close longtime friends, as well as all their children, grandchildren and their great-grandchild.
They met at a friend's home in Philadelphia and went to a teen dance sponsored by a church youth group on their first date. At first, they would attend social functions with a group of friends, but became exclusive once they realized they had feelings for one another. They went to the movies every week, youth dances, and attended Bonnie's senior prom. New Year's Eve holds a special significance for them because that is when they became engaged, but also because they have spent it together since 1949 when she was 14 and he was 17 years old. After dating for four years, including one year of engagement, they were married at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia on Nov. 14, 1953.
They have lived in Philadelphia; Lindenwold, N.J.; São Paulo, Brazil; and Santa Rosa.
John served for four years in the Navy during the Korean War. He worked as a quality control engineer at C&D Batteries in Pennsylvania, was transferred to Santa Rosa, then to C&D do Brasil for three years, before returning to Santa Rosa. He retired after working 15 years at OCLI in Santa Rosa. Bonnie worked for the federal government for 25 years, retiring from the Social Security Administration.
Family members include: son, John, and his wife, Cheryl, of Santa Rosa; son, James, and his wife, JoAnn, of Pilot Hill; son, Richard, of Santa Rosa; and daughter, Dr. Suzanne Hennessy and her husband, Pat Lander, of Pismo Beach. They have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
They have devoted their lives to helping with education and care of their children and grandchildren.
They love the beach and have visited many throughout the world including, but not limited to: Ipanema; Copacabana; Baja; Brazil; Hawaii; Ocean City, N.J.; Ocean City, Md.; and Florida. John has traveled to England and Scotland through the military and his work. Together they have been to Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Colombia. They also have been to all the islands of Hawaii. Travel has been for work as well as vacations, anniversaries, and special occasions.
Their advice for a long and happy marriage is, "Caring for your spouse more than yourself, putting family first, and growing together."