Jerry and Virginia Morales, longtime residents of Northeast’s Sheffield Neighborhood, recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Jerry and Virginia met shortly after the devastating 1951 flood. Jerry grew up on Kansas City’s Westside and Virginia was from the Armourdale District in Kansas City, Kansas. Shortly afterward, they received their family’s blessing and they began courting.
Jerry was already an accomplished amateur boxer; he fought weekly in local Golden Gloves and Pan American Club sanctioned bouts. Following the flood, the Pan American Club at. 617 Shawnee Avenue K.C. KS was demolished and Jerry began to train out of the Whatsoever Community Center at 12th street and Bennington Avenue.
One evening, before his training as a promising 112 pound boxer, Jerry proposed to Virginia outside the center. Virginia, of course, said yes. That same year, Jerry began a four year streak of wins, achieving championship status locally and nationally, thanks to Virginia’s encouragement.
After buying a home in Sheffield they met many friends and mentors who shared their dream of making a difference in their community. They sent all their children to St Stephen’s School and set the example to their children of giving back to the community.
Their volunteer efforts throughout their marriage centered around youth and family and included Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Parish Finance Committees and numerous other roles at the church and school. Jerry continued his involvement with Golden Gloves boxing as well as the Blue Valley Kiwanis Club, Holy Rosary Credit Union, Sheffield Neighborhood Association and various other community betterment pursuits.
However, Jerry and Virginia believe their biggest accomplishments are their eleven children and 46 grandchildren.