Rock Island couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

ROCK ISLAND — Betty and John Moran were planning a quiet celebration for their 70th wedding anniversary this month, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

While they were able to renew their vows simply at a Mass on Oct. 19 at St. Pius X Church here, where they are charter members, their 40 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren came from as far away as New York, California and Texas to honor the Morans at a family dinner on Oct. 23. “It was a wonderful celebration,” Mrs. Moran said.

Mr. Moran married the former Betty McGonigle at St. Anne’s Church in East Moline on Oct. 19, 1940. Making their home in Rock Island, they welcomed three sons and two daughters: Jon, Tom, Jim, Mary Kelsay and Janice, who is deceased. Over seven decades their family has grown to include 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Active members of St. Pius X, they served as lectors for many years and Mr. Moran was one of the first extraordinary ministers of holy Communion there. In addition, he was president of the Calvary Cemetery Association for 40 years, a member of the Legion of Mary for 12 years, and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 11 years.

Mrs. Moran was the first president of the St. Pius X School Mother’s Club. She also was president of the Altar and Rosary Society and later, one of its circles.

The owner and operator of James A. Moran Insurance Agency, which was founded by his father, Mr. Moran was the first president of the Illinois Casualty Insurance Co. When their youngest child entered kindergarten, Mrs. Moran joined her husband at the office, serving as his secretary.

The secret to their long life together?

“I think we had a lot of trust in God. That was the main thing,” Mrs. Moran told The Catholic Post. “It wasn’t difficult.”

While Mr. Moran once told someone he wasn’t smart enough to talk about love, he confesses himself to be “dumb and happy” in love.

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