293. Chris and Mark and Ian

Okay, let’s party!  It’s Chris and Mark Milner’s 40th wedding anniversary and Ian Fitzpatrick Melchior’s 16th birthday!

One of the most memorable and prettiest weddings I ever attended was that of my niece Christine Fitzpatrick and Mark Milner.It happened on June 26, 1971 – 40 years ago today.  

I don’t know how it was for the members of the wedding party,- they probably lived through the usual behind-the-scenes jitters –  but there’s never been a more relaxed and comfortable party for assembled wedding guests.

The warmth wasn’t only due to the hospitality though. When I say it was warm, I mean WARM.  The temperature was 96 degrees – hot, for most of the guests, but for my husband Gene and me, newly arrived from chilly Seattle, it was sunny and glorious. And even the food was good!

It’d be a challenge not to have a fun time when in the midst of all those Fitzpatricks!.  Add that to the congeniality of the Milner family, and you’ve got a world-class party going on.

Everybody looked gorgeous – like a magazine ad. Especially the bride and groom. Note that Chris is wearing the family’s most famous dress, and as I keep promising, she’s going to relate its story on a blob at the end of the month.

Chris and Mark were just commencing their teaching careers in Iowa at the time of the marriage.  They recently retired from teaching in Ankeny, Iowa and that city is probably still reeling from the loss of what had to be their two most popular teachers. Right now, they’re marking time waiting to transplant themselves to Portland, Oregon, where daughter Heather and son-in-law Dan Roecker live with their little ones, Jake and Ruby.

Their son Corey and daughter-in-law Rebecca live in Colorado, but to celebrate the anniversary, I think they’re all going to be in Portland next week, and they may come by train to visit all their related outlaws in Seattle!  Yippee, hats and horns!

Chris wrote me the following about their first forty years of wedded bliss: 

“40 years! We knew we would be able to go the distance. 

“While in Maine on our honeymoon, we survived capsizing in a small boat in the Atlantic, and then being lost in the middle of a tidal river in the fog with drunken locals. Later we lived through a tornado that ripped through Ankeny. 

“But those hair-raising events were quickly replaced with a windfall of loving family, good friends, fantastic children, beautiful grandkids, proud moments and fulfilling careers. Time marches on!”

But as it’s marching on, don’t expect these two to settle down and retire.  You can count on Chris being up to her armpits in projects of every size and shape, and the irrepressible Mark will likely be plumbing his true calling as a stand-up comic. He’s been in the cornfields, and entertaining those high school kids long enough! 

I hope you have a happy 40th anniversary, kiddies. Now get out there and party.

And you too, Ian.  My great-nephew Ian Fitzpatrick Melchior is 16 years old today.  

Ian is the fourth oldest child of my niece Rene’ and Dan Melchior.  He’s the only “Ian” in the family. His name comes from both Hebrew and Scottish Gaelic, and it means “God is gracious”. It is one of the many forms of the name John.

If you’re old enough to know what I’m talking about, honk if you think this handsome kid looks like a teenage version of Steve McQueen.

One of Ian’s “highlights” of the winter’s snowfall, was a broken leg.  He and his brother Joshua were playing around wrestling in the snow, and that did it!   Recuperating from the damage put a crimp on Ian’s soccer and wrestling activities, but I hope the leg is mending by now.

Ian’s with his cousins Jane and Tom Fitzpatrick in the photo below.


His mom, Rene’ wrote this about him: “Ian is going to start at the high school this fall. He’s an A student, and he enjoys getting his schoolwork done so he can move on to something else. That doesn’t mean that he enjoys all the schoolwork, just getting it done.” 

“I think his favorite subject would be anything about the wars and battles in history. He likes to play XBox with those kind of games also. He enjoys tormenting his smaller siblings. He thinks that is normal, since that is what he received after years of being the youngest sibling.” 

“After he finishes school, Ian would like to be a Navy Seal. He would be good, he loves a challenge. Never tell Ian there is something he can’t accomplish. He will not listen to the fact that his broken leg this year may deter that goal, because it has left him with metal in his leg. He has already asked his surgeon how long he will have to wait to have all the metal taken out.”

“Ian is still serving as an altar server at our church. He’s a very loving, sensitive person who cares for all those close to him.”

He sure sounds like a winner to me.  And with a face like that, how can he lose?  

Happy 16th birthday, Ian.  And next time it snows, stay inside!  Your legs will thank you for it.

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2 Responses to 293. Chris and Mark and Ian

  1. Mark says:

    Happy B-day Ian Wow !! The Steve McQueen pix with Ian amazing !!!!!!!!!! You are right Octo-woman about their resemblance . Ian you need to rent the movie “Bullet ” with Steve McQueen.
    Its old but it is a Classic .
    Gwenie Thanks again for doing this great blog. It continually brings back great memories: by the way the temperature at the wedding was actually 96 degrees.
    See you soon !!!!!

  2. Tim Fitzpatrick says:

    I don’t remember the actual temperture but I remember it was HOT! My most vivid memory was after the service Mark’s dad Ronnie pulled his cigarettes out of the breast pocket of his suit and they were all to wet to smoke, we all had sweat through our tux jackets. My dad Tom came to the rescue because he had at least two cigarettes that were just dry enough to light. The problem was between the two of them neither had a dry match. Kind of funny till he sent me running to the car to find a light.

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