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Love Is in the Air 2016

Golden LivingCenters | posted February 12, 2016 | Bookmark and Share

We share many holidays and life celebrations with our LivingCenter residents, but Valentine's Day is especially sweet for us because we have the joy and privilege of caring for many resident couples. Some make their way to our LivingCenter already coupled and others find love in a fellow resident. This Valentine’s Day we feature eight GLC couples who share their stories of devotion, happenstance and ageless love. Want more? See 2015 is Love is in the Air.
GLC – Old Bridge – Mr. Bill Matrisciano and Ms. Maryann Fishler
Two find love after a long friendship at GLC – Old Bridge
Mr. Bill Matrisciano and Ms. Maryann Fishler met at work in 1981 while they both worked as EMTs in the Boston area. Bill eventually moved away to join a Funeral Director program while Ms. Fishler moved to Florida and started a family. During this time, they continued to stay in contact by mailing letters.  Years later, Bill’s health forced him to move back to New Jersey to be by his parents. Meanwhile, Maryann lost her husband and moved back to New Jersey to be near her family.
The day before Maryann was scheduled to have surgery and realizing she had moved back to New Jersey, Bill reached out to her and they met for lunch. Since that time, they stayed in contact and spent more time together.  She was hospitalized in June 2013 and was going to be transferred to Golden LivingCenter – Old Bridge. Bill realized this and asked to be transferred there too after hospitalizations in July. They have enjoyed the Golden LivingCenter together over the years and were happy to see others cared and embraced them together.
With the support of the LivingCenter staff during a luncheon, Bill proposed to Maryann. On Nov. 6, 2013, they got married at the LivingCenter. Bill and Maryann enjoy community outings to the grocery store and restaurants. Bill is now the vice-president of the Golden LivingCenter – Old Bridge resident council and they both stay active in all of the LivingCenter activities.

GLC – Neligh – Stanley and Dorothy Lambert
Stanley and Dorothy Lambert were college sweethearts
Stanley had returned from his tour of duty in the U.S. Army Infantry having served in World War II and was a P.O.W. in Germany for nearly five months. After this and in his sophomore year at the University of Lincoln in Nebraska, he became the president of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Dorothy was a freshman and became active in the campus Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). They met at a social picnic both groups attended where Stanley was considered a big man on campus. He was looking for the prettiest girl to attend the picnic with him.  After this meeting, they attended many college activities, dances and parties together.  Stan was a member of the Farm House Fraternity and the Farm House quartet as well.   They were part of a fun-loving group that enjoyed simple things, good music, laughter and each other. Stan and Dorothy dated for two years before getting “pinned” with Stan’s Farm House fraternity pin (The diamond ring to come a year later).  Dorothy insisted on completing her college education before getting married on June 10, 1951. Thus their love proved true enough to wait for her to fulfill this goal. Stan spent the year waiting for Dorothy by teaching Veterans on the Farm Training classes at Chambers High School and farming the land in Holt County that his grandfather had homesteaded.
They had two sons and one daughter. They will be celebrating their 65th anniversary in June and suggest the key for a long marriage would be to put the other person first, sharing, working together in community activities and especially church as it has played an important part in their life.  Also, they suggest remembering that no one person or situation is perfect.  Share and enjoy the simple things!  
GLC – Lumberton – Alice and Harold Musselwhite
Three keys to a long marriage for Alice and Harold
Alice and Harold Musselwhite met on a blind date, but consider their first date together when they went movies after the blind date in Lumberton, N.C. Their secret to a long marriage, other than being blessed and fortunate with a long life, is to respect each other, communicate and show affection toward your partner.

GLC – Tifton – Ervin and Mattie St. John
Lifelong Friends
Ervin and Mattie met when they were in the 3rd grade. They went to school, church and played together. One day while walking to church he started holding Mattie’s hand. The other children started to tease her so she got mad at him and told him that she wouldn’t have him even if he were under the Christmas tree. When Ervin was 12, his mother passed away. He and his sister helped their father raise his two younger brothers. They started coming to Mattie’s house on the weekends to visit and play. When Mattie was 18, she planned a trip to visit her sister in Camilla, Ga. Ervin then looked at Mattie and said, “Don’t you think we need to get this over with?” Mattie knew what he was talking about and said yes to getting married. They left on the bus for Camilla together and got married at the Justice of the Peace on Jan. 9, 1945. They had two beautiful children, Peggy and Tommy. They now have four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Their secret to a long marriage is that they always respected each other, never made any decisions without first discussing them and never went to bed mad at each other. Well, one time they went to bed mad; however, by midnight they had made up. They have made a home together at the Golden LivingCenter – Tifton in Georgia since May 2011.
GLC – Florence – Arden and Rosalie Smith
Changing bus routes to get the girl
For Arden and Rosalie Smith, the secret to their 68-year marriage is to never go to bed angry at one another. They married in 1948 and have five children, 37 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Their Valentine’s Day celebration tradition was going to dinner and when the children were small, they came along too. They met on the bus when Arden was the bus driver. Rosalie at just 16 rode it to go dancing with her girlfriends. Arden began changing the bus route to ensure she was the last one on the bus so he could talk to her. It worked because they soon began to date and were married a year and a half later.

GLC – Downs – Wayne and Eula Thompson
Family and love is everything you need
Wayne and Eula met at church during Sunday school. He left for the war when she was a kid. When he came back from war, she caught his eye. He was attending Kansas State University (K-State) and she was teaching in their hometown of Stillwell, Kan . They got engaged on Christmas Eve in 1946 and got married four days later on December 28. When he popped the question, Wayne said, “What do you think about getting married?” Eula said, “Sounds great.” They had to borrow wedding rings for the ceremony and lived with family for awhile after getting married. She then went back with him to K-State, and eventually they both got teaching positions at different schools. They had three daughters and one son. They now have nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Wayne and Eula recently celebrated 69 years of marriage while at Golden LivingCenter – Downs. Throughout the years, they have always been very family oriented. Wayne has always said, “Family and love is everything you will need and the secret to a long loving marriage is love, patience and trust.”

GLC – Valparaiso – Tom and Peggy Harmon
Disco dancing and a traveling band brought Tom and Peggy together
Tom and Peggy Harmon met while out with friends having a cocktail. The boys were in a booth behind the girls, and they bought the girls a drink. After about an hour, the boys stuck their heads around, introduced themselves and asked if they could join the girls, and the girls agreed. They began talking; Peggy got up to go to the bathroom, and Tom did too. While they were in their respective places, Tom knocked on the bathroom wall adjacent to Peggy’s, and she knocked back! When Peggy came out, Tom asked if she would like to join him disco dancing sometime. When Peggy said yes, he gave her a big smooch….their first date was set! They went disco dancing…..and stayed out till dawn! Tom worked in the steel mill, and Peggy worked in a grocery store at the time, and they would meet almost every night for a drink or dinner.
Tom wanted to get married, but since they had both been married before, Peggy was reluctant. To that Tom replied, “Peggy, I’m just old fashioned enough that I want that ring on your finger!” Peggy said, “I don’t care what you say, I’m never getting divorced again!” Peggy finally conceded after a month of Tom’s persistence. They were married on Jan. 31, 1976 – 40 years ago in Wanatah, Ind. The couple went to the “big city” of Hobart for a romantic dinner on the river with the only couple who knew about their nuptials…their attendants. As Peggy remembers it, the snow was falling, the river was glistening, and the champagne was bubbling.
The next morning they went to “tell their folks.” They started with Tom’s sister in Wanatah, but they didn’t get far. Driving down the county road to her house, they got stuck in the snow! They spent all night in a snow drift until a plow came by the next morning and rescued them. The driver took them to the nearest farmhouse, and they were invited in. They ate bologna sandwiches and tomato soup, and Peggy says it tasted wonderful! That was the beginning…
Tom and Peggy both have a love for music. Tom was in a band called Carbon Copy, and he played the bass guitar and trumpet. Since Peggy had taken piano lessons as a girl, Tom decided that his best girl should be part of the band. They spent many nights entertaining at local places in several counties, as well as weddings, and even on a riverboat! Once they even got billing with bands like Rare Earth and the Buckinghams!
Tom, being the jokester that he was, would say things during performances like, “Can you girls hear us in the bathroom? That’s good, ‘cuz we can hear you too!” During band introductions, he would introduce the men first, then say, “This girl back here, with the big organ, she’s my wife, Peggy.” He always made Peggy laugh! The band stayed together for thirteen years, and Peggy and Tom have persevered well beyond that….through Peggy’s cancer diagnosis and recent remission, and Tom’s health problems.
When Tom came to Golden LivingCenter – Valparaiso for the first time in spring of 2013 for rehab, Peggy was close behind. She was admitted for her own health issues about two weeks later. When Tom was admitted in 2014, Peggy again followed her husband, admitting a few weeks later. Finally, when Tom returned in 2015, Peggy was subsequently given a cancer diagnosis, and she came for rehab and treatments. It was decided that they needed to stay for Tom’s health, and Peggy was determined to “stand by her man.” We ALL celebrated and cried this past December, when we learned that Peggy’s tumor was no longer active and she was in remission.
The two had been in separate rooms for nearly a year before we were able to put them together. On that first night while they were watching television, Tom started snoring and Peggy immediately fell fast asleep. She’d missed his snoring for so long! Tom and Peggy have two children from Tom’s first marriage. Peggy is extremely close to them; her daughter-in-law is one of her best friends. They also have three grandsons who visit often. The couple can still be seen and heard cracking jokes with one another, and the staff. Peggy has made close friends here, as has Tom, but they are, and always will be, each other’s best friend!
GLC – Glasgow, W.V. – Jack and Dolores Johnson 
One sweet box of chocolates
Troy “Jack” and Dolores Johnson attended junior high school together. After school, Jack went to serve in the United States Navy. He returned home in 1946. At this time, Delores worked at the local company store where she would see Jack from time to time. Delores’ fondest memory is from seeing him in the 8th grade when her friend had a crush on him and Delores wasn’t interested in him. In 1949, Delores’ boss held a contest to see who could sell the most Valentine’s Day candy. When Jack came into the store, Delores’ co-worker asked him to buy a box of candy. Jack secretly purchased a two-pound box of Whitman’s Valentine’s Day candy that said “To a very nice girl.” At the end of her shift, the co-worker told her that she had a surprise. Two months later, they started dating. A year later, they got married on April 29, 1950 and have been happily married for 65 years. Delores says the key to keeping a long marriage is being best friends and having trust in one another.

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