In a world where divorce rates are skyrocketing and relationships are forged with the swipe of a finger, lasting love can seem like an anomaly.
This Valentines Day, we present three local couples who have stuck together through it all.
Rosina and George Russo take the cake with a marriage of 75 years and counting.
They were school sweethearts, but not high school as you might have guessed. The two met in elementary school when Rosina was just six.
They grew up in the same village in Italy and married when she was 17 and her beau, was 19.
Together, the young pair moved to the Bronx where they have resided ever since.
“I have nothing to learn,” said 92-year-old Rosina, on the topic of love and marriage, “I know everything.”
So what’s the secret?
“We always do things together, we work together and so we understand each other,” she explained with affection in her voice.
The couple has three daughters, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Like the Russos, Nancy and Joseph Mobilia are long-time parishioners of St. Benedict Church.
The two celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past weekend.
Nancy can still remember the first time she saw the man who would become her life partner – it was in her home country of Italy, where Joe’s family had come on vacation from America.
“It was love at first sight, I saw him and I thought – wow,” reminisced Nancy, with the youthful yearning of a much younger woman still overtaken with infatuation.
When they first met, Joe spoke very little Italian, but it didn’t matter to Nancy. “The language of love is much stronger,” she said.
The couple parted when Joseph returned to the states with his family, but they stayed in contact via the mail. “He wrote to me in Italian,” said Nancy.
Three months later, Joseph returned to Italy to marry her.
Nearly a year after the wedding, Nancy would join Joseph in the U.S., where the couple moved to the same Throggs Neck home they live in today.
Shortly after Nancy arrived in the states Joseph was drafted to serve in Korea. He was gone for 18 months, but their bond did not waiver.
“Our marriage should have failed, we were young, we were far apart, but with commitment it worked,” said Nancy on how to keep relationships strong, “My message to young people is that commitment is the most important thing..don’t just walk away, our faith sustained us.”
The pair’s fruitful marriage produced one son, three daughters, 12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Millie and Albert Stone, of Throggs Neck have been married 55 years.
The pair fell in love in Jamaica and were married when Millie was 17 and Albert was 19.
Millie, who is very active in her church, Fort Schuyler Presbyterian, says the key to a successful marriage is to put God first, and be an example for your children.
The happy couple has five children, 12 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
So there’s the proof – love is alive and well right here in the Bronx.