Wish granted: Celebrating a birthday with a wedding day

August 2014 Posted in People
Tom Dockery and Kathy Townsend exchanged wedding vows at Marquis Silver Gardens on her birthday, July 28. Photo by  Molly Gunther

Tom Dockery and Kathy Townsend exchanged wedding vows at Marquis Silver Gardens on her birthday, July 28. Photo by Molly Gunther

By Molly Gunther

Kathy Townsend and Tom Dockery met and fell in love in Everett, Wash. in 1997 when they worked for Checker Cab. She was 47 and he was 48.

“Any time we were between radio calls, we would usually be parked in a parking lot somewhere,” Tom said. “We would park our cabs next to each other and talk to each other.”

They moved to Las Vegas in August of 2001 to drive cabs before deciding to retire in Oregon. They have been living in Salem for five years and never want to live anywhere else.

Last November, Kathy had a stroke and lost mobility in her left side. She has been recovering and rehabilitating at Marquis Silver Gardens ever since. Tom comes to visit her every morning and soon she’ll be able to finish recovering at home.

“He’s always in my corner. He’s always ‘Yay yay yay! You can do it baby!’ I guess he’s my biggest fan,” Kathy said.

Although they have been committed to each other for 17 years, Kathy and Tom said the timing was never right to get married. Kathy told someone at Marquis that the thing she wanted most was to marry Tom and that they were planning on getting married this summer in their backyard.

Marquis’ “New Chapter” program, which aims to fulfill the wishes of its residents, decided to throw them a wedding and planned the whole thing. Kathy chose the date – July 28 – her birthday.

“I am very honored to be his wife,” Kathy said. “Tom is a good man, a really good man. Few and far between, mystical and magical like unicorns, good men.”

Tom lists his favorite things about Kathy, “her smile, her kind nature. She’s really a very gentle person,” he said.

The afternoon wedding was held at Silver Gardens, with a hotdog and marshmallow roast reception.

“I thought it’d be kind of fun and different,” Kathy said.

The timing was right for a new adventure and Tom and Kathy are looking forward to getting home and then taking a few trips down the coast.

Kathy says she is looking forward to playing with her cats. They have four: The mother, Peaky Boo Boo is a rescued stray who had kittens, Molly McGee, Gidgey Gadget and Chauncey. The cats’ personalities and “sense of humor” keeps Tom and Kathy on their toes.

“Sometimes I think they do things just because they think it’s funny,” Tom said. “Our lives revolve around our cats a lot.”

Kathy said she also looks forward to seeing her backyard, watching the sunlight fall on her rose bushes every morning, and listening to her bluebirds singing in the laurels.

“That’s pretty much our lives,” Tom said. “It’s paradise is what it is, the best retirement.”

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