Dunlap-Kennelly

Mary Lu Kennelly and John F. Dunlap

For the marriage of former Sen. John F. Dunlap and Ms. Mary Lu Kennelly, the couple shared with family and friends an African legend meant to capture the spirit of the day:

“In the beginning God made a man and a woman and set them on earth. The two looked at each other and burst out laughing. Then they joined hands and traveled the earth together.”

Eighty-five guests joined the Aug. 20 celebration at the bridegroom’s Coombsville home. The senator’s former law partner at Coombs and Dunlap, Judge Philip Champlin, was the officiant and the bride’s nephews, Rowan Olds and Evan Olds were the ring bearers.

Ms. Kennelly and Sen. Dunlap met in 2007 in a bereavement group they joined following the deaths of their spouses.

In 2012, speaking at his 90th birthday party, Sen. Dunlap spoke of coming to know and love Ms. Kennelly. “Life was no longer just OK; it became really wonderful,” he said.

As they continued to travel the earth together, the couple honeymooned in Washington, D.C., where they were honored at a family dinner and attended a Washington Mystics basketball game. The bride’s nephew, Mike Thibault, is the coach of the WNBA team.

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In recent times Sen. Dunlap and Ms. Kennelly have also traveled to Holland, Belgium and France, to Cuba, to Alaska, to Ashland, Oregon for the annual Shakespeare festival, to Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and to New York, Boston, Quebec and Montreal.

The couple was brought together by the sadness that comes with the loss of a spouse. Later, they would discover a shared enthusiasm for liberal politics, beginning with the candidacy of a young African-American named Barack Obama. So it was only fitting that their honeymoon included a tour of the Obama White House.

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