Murdock and Dorothy McDonald raised six children — five girls and one son — who put them on a cruise to the Caribbean March 17-24 for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Childhood sweethearts, they were married on St. Patrick’s Day by a justice of the peace in Northeast Philadelphia. Although the union was later blessed by their parish pastor, they never had a church wedding. “I was never a bride,” said Dorothy. “We were young and didn’t have any money.”
They renewed their vows on the cruise, Dorothy wearing a dress she picked out for the occasion and a headpiece that she made herself. She also made the bow tie and vest that her husband wore with his tuxedo.
A few weeks after returning to dry land, Murdock and Dorothy put their anniversary clothes on again and drove from their home in Villas to celebrate their half-century together in a church. They were among the many couples at the Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass at Our Lady of Hope Parish, St. Agnes Church, on Sunday, April 15. The Mass honors couples married 25, 50 or more years. Bishop Joseph A. Galante presided.
The McDonalds moved to Villas in 2000 when they retired from their full time jobs. Murdock was a truck driver and his wife a nurse. Dorothy’s mother, 94, lives with them (and joined them on their recent cruise). They have 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“We’ve been through a lot of heartache but also had a lot of happiness,” said Dorothy.
Both Dorothy and Murdock said their bond remains strong. Dorothy added, “He can’t pull anything on me. I know him inside and out.”