Charlie and Maureen Mooney of Greenlawn celebrated their 55th wedding...

Charlie and Maureen Mooney of Greenlawn celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in June, 2016. Credit: Mooney family

Maureen Mooney of Greenlawn recalls her courtship with husband Charlie.

We became acquainted when our mothers pushed our baby carriages through the streets of Highbridge, our Bronx neighborhood. I was Maureen Griffin then.

A six-month difference in age — Charlie was born in 1938 and I in 1939 — later placed my future husband a year ahead of me at Sacred Heart Elementary School. After graduation, he went to All Hallows High School and I attended Mount Saint Ursula High School, both in the Bronx.

We were aware of each other but never socialized until 1957, when he was a freshman at Iona College in New Rochelle and I was a senior in high school. My brother and Charlie would carpool to school. One day I got a lift from them on their way to Iona. Charlie and I got reacquainted, and he soon asked me to a dance, our first date.

We continued dating and fell irrevocably in love. I graduated high school that year and started classes at St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Manhattan.

As students at Iona and St. Vincent’s, we marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parades in Manhattan. In 1959, my classmates and I were assembled on a side street waiting to march while Charlie and his class were on an adjoining street. Suddenly, he appeared beside me and presented me with his class ring, to be worn until it was replaced with an engagement ring a year later.

We were married in Sacred Heart Church in Highbridge on June 10, 1961, and spent our honeymoon in Quebec City, Canada. In 1965 we moved to Greenlawn, where we raised our four children.

Charlie was an engineer at Sperry Gyroscope and later at Grumman. He retired in 2001 after 33 years. He also taught computer courses at both Sperry and Grumman and for several professional societies. Additionally, he served as an adjunct professor at Empire State College.

I spent my 40-year nursing career in occupational health, case management and patient advocacy. I also wrote articles for Nursing Spectrum magazine. Along the way I obtained a bachelor’s degree in community health from Saint Joseph’s College. In 1999, I retired from CNA insurance company.

Charlie and I were volunteers and employees at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration for 15 years. We participated in the historical dance troupe and played traditional American and Irish music on uilleann pipes, tin whistles and the Celtic harp.

We have traveled extensively in the United States, Canada and Europe, and recently visited Australia and New Zealand.

In June, I was confined to the Carillon Rehabilitation Facility in Huntington after shoulder surgery. To celebrate our 55th anniversary, we reserved a lovely room there, hired a caterer and invited 25 relatives and friends to celebrate with us.

Our marriage has been a long and enduring epic. We enjoy our family and have five wonderful grandchildren. We are best friends, we love retirement and look forward to sharing many more anniversaries.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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