Two First Meetings and 40 Years of Being Best Friends

Two First Meetings and 40 Years of Being Best Friends

Karen and Tim Cassity have paired friendship with romance throughout their nearly 41-year-long marriage.

“I danced with this really cute girl named Karen Henry.” 

Tim and Karen Cassity were already married for three years when they discovered those words written in one of Tim’s old journals. Up until discovering that old journal entry, they believed they first met while working at the same store in Logan, Utah. 

While working together, Karen asked Tim to the Sadie Hawkins Dance at Utah State. That was followed up by her asking him on another date, where they spent Thanksgiving with some of her cousins and friends. 

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“After that I started asking her out,” Tim smiled. “The funny part was, we actually met a year before that.” 

Fast forward to three years into their marriage with a newborn baby, Tim happened to open up one of his old journals only to find his wife’s name. Then the few dances they shared one year prior to their first official date came back to them. 

“I didn’t know her, but I ended up asking her to dance a couple of dances and then never saw her again for another year. We didn’t even remember each other,” Tim said. “I kept a journal of things I did every day at school, it was just a habit I had, and I had written down in there that I had danced with this really cute girl named Karen Henry. That’s all I put, that’s all I knew. I just remembered she had dark black hair and we danced only a couple of times.” 

“Isn’t that weird?” Karen smiled. “We were both shocked.” 

“I was like, oh, I remember her. It’s you,” he said. 

Tim and Karen were married May 6, 1983, and Karen said she knew within a month of dating that she wanted to marry him. 

“That Sadie Hawkins dance was in November, I knew by Christmas. But I never said anything, I waited until he said it first. But I knew he was the one then,” she said. 

“But I didn’t quite know yet,” Tim said. “It was pretty evident because I stopped dating other girls and I just focused on her, so I had a feeling that was probably it. But boys are a little slower. She’s smarter than me.” 

Parenting As A Team

The Cassitys raised four children together, and have been devoted parents to their kids. One of their favorite things about each other is how they have dedicated themselves to being parents. 

“I love his relationships with our kids,” Karen said while listing off her favorite things about Tim.

Tim said that Karen has been an amazing mother to their children, and that he and the kids have been lucky to have her. While they were going to school at the University of Wyoming, she made the decision to leave school to care for their infant daughter, Brooke. 

“She sacrificed going to school so she could stay home with her daughter. That’s when I knew she was pretty special,” Tim said. “She’s a great mom, and you could tell that from the start that all she cared about was our kids, and she made sure that they were taken care of.” 

Their partnership was very important while they were raising their kids, and especially when their son, Cody, was in an accident that left him badly hurt. Karen described it as raising him all over again.

“You’ve got to be in it together, you have to work together, you’ve got to be a team,” Karen said. “It was definitely a challenge when Cody got hurt … It was really raising him again. I would work with him all day, and Tim would come home and he’d take over and do things with Cody. We just got in this rhythm and this flow, and maybe it’s because we’ve been married for so many years, but we just knew what each other needed.” 

Throughout all the frustrations, Karen said that she only wondered one single time if this challenge would make or break them. 

“You hear that out there, so it came to my mind, but I always knew it would never break us. I just knew that we would get through it, because that’s just what you do for family,” she said. 

Friends Who Never Stopped Dating

Karen said that partnership helps them get through everything in life. Though not every day is a crisis, it helps to have a friend. 

“It’s easier when you’re best friends,” Tim said. “She became my best friend, and she still is … the dating only lasts so long, so pretty soon you better be friends. The most important thing that helps us get through stuff, and that’s true of everything, is that she’s my best friend.” 

That friendship also leads to Tim and Karen enjoying any and all time together. While they both work at Green River High School, Tim as an industrial arts teacher and Karen as an attendance secretary that greets everyone as they come into the building, they find that it’s important for them to dedicate time to each other. 

“We go on a lot of dates,” Tim said. “I got some advice from my mom a long time ago, she said you should never stop dating.” 

Tim’s mom said that every Friday night they should be on a date. While that was difficult to accomplish sometimes with four kids in the house, they always made each other a priority. One of Karen’s favorite ways to spend time with Tim is by vacationing. 

“Vacations are so fun, we have such a blast. We’re always connected, but when we’re in school and sports and stuff, you don’t always have a lot of time together. So when you go on a vacation, you get that week or ten days or whatever, just to be together and do fun things,” she said.

Appreciating One Another

Friendship comes naturally to Tim and Karen, because they simply like each other so much. The pair balances each other out as Karen loves Tim’s ability to be calm all the time, and Tim appreciates how Karen keeps things fun and exciting.

“He’s just level and cool all the time,” Karen said. “He never really gets mad, never gets super excited like I do. He’s the calm for us two, I’m the crazy.”

“She’s always the energetic one that always makes things fun. And it was that way from the beginning, I could tell she was not a boring girl,” Tim said.

When asked what they loved most about each other, the lists could go on and on. Karen also loves how Tim is with his students as a woods teacher, his knowledge of woodworking, and all the other things he does at school.

“I like that he calls me beautiful. I like that he appreciates what I do at home,” she said.

One of the first things Tim really loved about Karen was her cooking skills.

“She used to invite me over and let me read her newspaper and she cooked for me,” he said. “That’s when I realized she’s a really good cook, and it’s still that way. She makes great stuff.”

He also loves who she is as a person, stating that she’s always thinking of other people.

“One of the coolest things is the kind of person she is. She’s always thinking of somebody else and that shows because she’s always done that with her family, and she does it with other people. That’s been special,” he said.

Karen’s patience and understanding is another things about her that Tim loves. They have a common interest in athletics, but Tim has spent most of their nearly 41-year-long marriage coaching football, track and basketball.

“I kind of warned her up front that it might be a crazy life, and it’s been 37 years of crazy sports coaching and she’s always been very good about coming to my games and supporting me,” he said. “She’s been very patient with me. She’s never made me feel bad about it. She knows that’s what I love to do, so she’s always let me go. I know sometimes she probably doesn’t like it, but she never mentions it … You’ve got to support each other and let them do their thing. We love the time together, but we also support each other. It was always very comforting for me to know that she was always there, and the kids had her there. They were lucky.” 

And the end of the day, it’s that appreciation they have for each other that keeps them happy and strong as a couple. 

“I can talk to him,” Karen said. “And even if we’re just in the same house and we’re not in the same room, I just am comfortable. I know he’s there, and I just love the peace that it brings.”