Bronx couple shares secret to lengthty, loving marriage

Bronx couple shares secret to lengthty, loving marriage|Bronx couple shares secret to lengthty, loving marriage
Fanny (l) with Luis Collazo in February 2018 outside their room at Bronx Center.
Community News Group/Sarah Valenzuela

Though their memories have faded a bit, the love this couple shares has stood true.

Luis and Fanny Collazo both wear smiles larger than life.

The joy they share being in each others company is undeniable.

The Collazo’s met in Ponce, Puerto Rico shortly after the end of World War II.

Luis, was returning home after being stationed in Panama and Ecuador, when he met Fanny who was still a teenager.

They both knew it was love at first sight.

Luis courted Fanny for about a year and half until they were married in Puerto Rico in 1950.

Sixty-eight years later, the Collazo’s are as inseparable today as they were the first day they met.

“We’ve always been the same,” said Fanny, who is now 88-years-old. “He’s the same Luis I first met.”

Now 94-years-old, Luis walks at a slower pace and can not speak as loudly as he used to, but still gleams with delight at every move Fanny makes.

The two moved to the south Bronx from their home in Puerto Rico in 1952 with their year-old son, Luis Jr.

Luis worked as a book binder in Manhattan and Fanny worked as a seamstress and owned her own business.

But at the turn of the century, Fanny was diagnosed with dementia, a type of memory loss often associated with old age.

Luis Jr, now 66-years-old, had moved to Florida the year before but their granddaughter, Christal Collazo, 38, still resided in the borough.

The couple lived alone. Their son and granddaughter visited as much as they could, but in 2014, Luis also started showing signs of dementia.

One day, Luis left their home to run errands and couldn’t remember how to get back.

Lost for hours, a good Samaritan found Mr. Collazo on his knees and called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Afterwards, their son moved them into Bronx Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, where they still reside.

Although they sleep in separate beds now, they will still blow goodnight kisses to one another before going to sleep at night.

“He’s always been good to me,” Fanny said.

Fanny and Luis repeat themselves often, confusing the past and the present, but one thing they remember is always working together.

“We’ve never had bad fights,” remarked Fanny, who has tried to impart the secret of her own marital bliss to her son, advising him to be patient with his significant other.

Along with their strong connection the Collazo’s also attribute their long lasting happiness to their fondness of dancing, a hobby those close to the couple frequently cited as the pair’s most noticible attribute.

“They danced all their lives, I grew up with them dancing in the house, especially when they went to parties or hosted family gatherings,” said Luis Jr.

The couple has won many dance competitions at local clubs in the borough over the years.

To this day, whenever the opportunity presents itself, you will still find them dancing arm in arm.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuel[email protected]
Fanny Colazo (l) and Luis Collazo on their wedding day in Puerto Rico.
Photo courtesy of Centers Health Care

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