Couple renew vows for 65th wedding anniversary


Norman and Marilyn Hayes along with family and friends celebrate the renewing of their wedding vows after 65 years of marriage.

SENIOR LIFE photos Darrell Woehler

A strong commitment in their beliefs and love for one another prompted Norman and Marilyn Hayes of Indian Harbor Beach to renew their wedding vows of 65 years in the South Patrick Chapel at Patrick Air Force Base on Aug. 5.

Michael Direnzo, retired U.S. Air Force chaplain, officiated. The couple’s anniversary is Aug. 23 and they wed at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Clementis Church in St. Bernard, Ohio in 1952.

“We met each other when we were 14 (years old) at the Fenwick Catholic Society where we were having an opportunity to dance together,” retired Lt. Col. Norman Hayes said. “We started going together at 16 and married when we were both 20 and I went to college. In October of 1954, I entered the U.S. Army where I spent 29 years before being medically discharged in May 1983 when stationed in Saudi Arabia.”

They moved from location to location for the U.S. Army while he served as an artillery officer and ordnance officer. Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and his wife is a registered nurse.

The couple have 10 children. They also have 44 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

“Anytime anyone has a baby, we try to be there,” Norman Hayes said. “Even with the grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

They renewed their vows at their 50th anniversary.

“We believe faith is very important to us and it is a chance for the children to see we practice what we preach,” Hayes said. “Religion is important. Both my wife and I participate in Catholic services. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured, and this is a good opportunity for the children to see our devotion.”

The couple will continue to enjoy life with a 40-day trip to Europe and the Caribbean in the fall.