Former sweethearts marry 62 years later

From our September 2016 issue

By Skip Fennessy – Fort Steele, B.C.

Our story began in 1953 when two young ladies from White Fox, Sask., Ann Pawluck and Hazel Moonie, arrived in Cranbrook, B.C. They both found work at the St. Eugene Hospital, working there for about six months.

During that time Hazel met me, Marvin (Skip) Fennessy and we went to dances at Fort Steele and Jaffray in my 1942 Ford. Then the courtship came to a very sad ending when a fellow worker at the hospital got a look at Hazel’s birth certificate.

She squealed on Hazel as, at 17, she was too young to be employed, so she lost her job and I had to put her on a train back to White Fox.

We corresponded for a while and Hazel married Ed Reynolds. They had two boys and two girls. I married Delia Mallard in 1958 and we adopted a boy and girl.

I located Hazel and Ed in Kamloops in 1975 and when my wife and our family were in Kamloops, we met, and that was the last time we saw each other.

My wife, Delia, passed away on June 12, 2015 and while reading my Oct 2015 copy of The Senior Paper, I came upon an article and a photo (taken in 1932) about White Fox, Sask., by Mae and Hardy Dittmar of Cranbrook, B.C. I phoned Hardy and he told me that Mae was in the Joseph Creek Rest Home.

I visited with her and she could not recall the name Moonie but gave me a White Fox History Book to read and I found the Moonie history. It listed all the members’ names and where they lived. Then through the telephone directory, I found a Don Moonie, Hazel’s cousin, in Saskatoon, who gave me a telephone number in Kamloops, B.C.

I phoned Kamloops and a lady answered, Nora Moonie (cousin Bob’s wife), who said she would pass my request on. She phoned Hazel’s daughter, Colleen, in Kelowna, B.C., and told her Skip Fennessy wanted to talk to her mother.

Colleen phoned her mother, Hazel, and told her I wanted to talk to her. This was Nov. 8, 2015.
Hazel phoned and left a message and I returned the call when I got home from Cranbrook. I live south of Fort Steele, B.C.

After many phone calls during November, Hazel flew to Cranbrook on Dec. 1, and decided to stay. I proposed to Hazel and she said yes, so we were married Feb. 27, 2016. Our wedding was televised on Global TV across Canada.

Big thanks to The Senior Paper for printing the Dittmar article and a very big thank you to Hardy and Mae Dittmar. We will never forget you folks.

Back left: Colleen Rockliffe; Hardy Dittmar; Tammy Reynolds; Robert Fennessy; Kal Fennessy; Debby Vey. Front: Darren Reynolds; Mae Dittmar; Hazel and Skip Fennessy; Liam Rockcliffe; Tim Fennessy.
Skip and Hazel wed at Cranbrook United Church, officiated by Rev. Frank Lewis.