Hear Us Roar
February 2021 Issue
Photography by Mike Force Photography
Nancy & Mike Muldowney
A blind date during college spring break in 1965 is how long-time St. Simons Islanders, Nancy and Mike Muldowney came to Coastal Georgia in 1993. Well, really Mike’s career as an executive in food processing was the catalyst. But great warmth in making long-time friends, community service, an art framing business, playing golf and our Coastal Georgia climate have kept them here ever since. The Muldowney’s not only love each other, they love cooking and feeding a crowd. So, pull up a chair, because learning about them is a real treat:
Roots and Recreation
Nancy, who hails from New Hampshire, has been a professional artist since 1980 and had a local picture framing business, The Artshoppe, for 14 years. Mike, a native of New Jersey, was a food processing executive for 35 years, and picture framer for 11. Their children are Brian and Allison; their grandchildren, Christian, Patrick and Brenna are ages 21 to 17. Nancy adores playing golf, gardening, travel, sewing and home projects. Mike also plays golf, enjoys handyman projects at home, reading, travel and his sporty two-seater Mazda Miata.
What was the occasion when you two first met?
We met April 1, 1965. Nancy was going to visit a friend’s in Pennsylvania for college spring break, stopping first at the friend’s boyfriend’s home in N.J. They needed a weekend date for Nancy to be able to spend private time together. And there sat Mike on the sofa—a blind date on April Fool’s Day. So the flame was lit!
Now married 55 years,
what is your favorite Wedding Day memory?
We were married in January 1966; it was cheaper to marry than travel 450 miles to date!
Nancy: When walking down the aisle, I had a momentary realization of what I was doing… committing to the rest of my life. Oh my!
Mike: I was so nervous, I kept trying to put the ring on the wrong finger since the engagement ring was not there at that moment!
Three Best Things about each other:
Nancy about Mike: His sense of humor, his total support of all I do, and he is a great friend to have—loyal, even when I annoy him!
Mike about Nancy: She’s fun to be with, sensitive and committed.
If you two disagree and go a little off the rails,
how do you get back on track?
In 1975, friends encouraged us to attend a faith-based weekend, which focused on marriage commitment where we learned, through couples sharing their marriage experiences, how important communication is. More than anything else, we became aware there would always be differences and conflicts in our relationship. We each must try to express feelings without bringing up old complaints and hurts, keeping the issue at hand and calmly discussing it. And there are times to wait and see how important the matter really is. (We do a lot of muttering to ourselves before we bring up real problems.)
How have you both spent time together
during this pandemic year?
We’ve spent a lot of time together, but that’s not unusual for us. Now retired, we usually go together to the grocery and home project stores. In September, we went to Wyoming for 10 days and had a blast driving through national parks and into South Dakota. When working our home projects, we collaborate or work alone. And, Nancy golfs many days with her gal pals!
How long has this sports car been in your marriage?
This little Mazda Miata was bought in 2016. Mike wanted a convertible since having to sell his 1965 Corvair convertible back in the 70s. It’s definitely Mike’s toy, giving him much pleasure to drive.
Our theme is #Fromtheheart. What do you two do best from your hearts?
Our hearts are joined by our strong friendship, love and respect we have for each other. We try to be very aware of where the other one is emotionally and physically.
What are some thoughts to share with people getting married in 2021?
Support each other’s goals and ambitions. Encourage your partner to pursue their own interests. Try to always be kind. Stay friends, as well as lovers. In giving back to your community your bond with each other is strengthened. Also, nothing happens overnight; adjusting to living with another person takes time and effort. Most of all, don’t forget to take time to smell the roses along the way.
Community Service #FollowYourHeart:
Mike: United Way Board President, Junior Achievement, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce board, Coastal Coalition for Children Board President and St. Simons Island Rotary member since 2001. Mike became club president, then Rotary District Governor and Georgia Rotary Student Trustee.
Nancy: Served on art association boards in Massachusetts and St. Simons Island, an elementary school art volunteer, three Coastal Symphony boards, Hospice of the Golden Isles Auxiliary, Glynn Art Association President, MAP International volunteer and many Rotary projects.