Wednesday, April 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wedding: Couples to toast long marriages, share secrets

Maddalena, 88, and Fortunato Corso, 89, are a Bensonhurst, NY couple married 72 years. The reason for their success? Says Fortunato, "You've got to love each other and you've got to work at it together." AP photo

Maddalena, 88, and Fortunato Corso, 89, a Bensonhurst couple married 72 years who met in Calabria, Italy, and married on Feb. 4, 1941, pose for a photograph at their home in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. On Thursday they'll be honored by Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz in a celebration of couples married 50 years or more. The Corso's, who met as teenagers in Calabria, Italy, and married Feb. 4, 1941, have seven children, three girls and four boys. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

By
From page A4 | February 19, 2013 |

By Jake Pearson

At least 300 couples married 50 years or more to share Valentine’s Day together

David Shamrakov will never forget the first time he saw the woman he would marry.

They were both young medical students in their native Ukraine. He spotted her from across their biology class and knew in an instant he had to introduce himself.

“Her eyes were like diamonds,” says Shamrakov, 82.

“This man was very, very smart — and handsome,” adds his wife, Faina, 83.

The Shamrakovs have now been married for 58 years and credit their mutual taste for the medical profession, music, reading and theater with keeping their bond strong decade after decade.

“I don’t know what the secret is but when I met her for the first time, she was so nice I fell in love with her,” says Shamrakov, who came to the U.S. with his wife in 1993. “I respect her. I know I can’t do something if I know she’s not going to respect it.”

The Shamrakovs are among 300 couples who gathered for a Valentine’s Day champagne party in Brooklyn, NY that’s become an annual celebration of enduring love. It’s a select group: All of them have been married at least half a century.

“To me it’s the ultimate love story,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who has organized the Valentine’s Day party for the last 11 years. “In these days of high divorce rates, this shows that true love, commitment, communication and all that can make for a life-long marriage. That’s what they’ve proven against the odds.”

Among the couples who attended the love-filled function are Murray and Esther Redlitz, who have been married 66 years.

“He has a wonderful personality, he’s always on the bright side,” says Esther, 86, holding her husband’s hand. “I’m the pessimist, he’s the optimist.”

That the Redlitz are together is no small feat — the two are both Holocaust survivors from Poland who met under the worst of circumstances, trying to find missing family members after the Russian Army freed their concentration camps at the end of World War II.

Most of their family members didn’t survive the camps, so their marriage a few years after the war was as much about survival as it was about love.

“We didn’t have nobody,” says Esther, recalling how Murray was the one constant as they made their way through Poland and Czechoslovakia before coming to the United States.

“The love we have for each other will be here till the day we die,” adds Murray, 86, who owned an emblem printing business in Manhattan and ran it with his wife for 26 years.

The key to their longevity, he says, is pretty simple: compromise, compromise, compromise.

“You’ve got to know each other for a while and then compromise,” he says. “Think what the other thinks. Don’t be selfish.”

The borough’s longest lasting love pair may be Fortunato and Maddalena Corso, who tied the knot in Italy as teenagers 72 years ago.

“I liked her and so I got married,” says Fortunato, 89, a retired construction worker who still speaks Italian with his wife, who doesn’t speak any English. “You’ve got to love each other and you’ve got to work at it together.”

Their daughter Madeline, one of the couple’s seven children, lives with her parents in their Bensonhurst home. She said for years her mother has done everything for her father — cooking dinner, maintaining the home and even washing his shoulders in the bath.

“My family, we tease them, we say, ‘Ma, you’re married 70 years, if you get divorced you get more than half,” says the daughter. “She tells everybody, ‘Listen, you make sure you love them and you respect them, that’s your best friend.'”

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Food Bank springs for year-round assistance

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Dismal snowpack gets one more measure

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Funding sought for slain vet student’s pets

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woodland Library’s community room reopens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Museum celebrates Easter with candy-filled eggs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Easter egg hunt set Sunday at Atria

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

AquaMonsters open summer registration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Odd Fellows will host a big birthday bash

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Tamblyn presents a comedy concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Cancer fighters will gather Saturday for Relay For Life kickoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Poet laureate emerita celebrates at book-release party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
UCD gets grant to look at open access to published research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
‘Sip and Shop’ kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

AARP’s free tax-prep services continue

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Pain management lecture slated April 8

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Seniors invited to join new social group

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Pence Gallery: See artists at work during Garden Tour

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Shootings showed need for MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Program sparks lots of questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Is Davis on the cusp of an evolutionary change?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: B4

Will containers block cyclists’ path?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
We have no room for another cart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

This is no way to run a city

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Get informed on organics program

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Bicycle bells are my birthday wish

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Groom’s parents overwhelmed

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Descalso looks back at Aggie days, ahead to new Rockies gig

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devils drop softball game at CBS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Aggies get ready for Hawaii by rolling over St. Mary’s

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UC Davis represents well at Final Four in Indiana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS younger girls soccer squad stomps Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Nunez powers Aggies to softball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Gibson’s heroics ensure a DHS split at Boras Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10

.

Features

Spring is a busy time for honey and hives

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

 
Fiery bluesman brings guitar pyrotechnics to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bluesman and guitarist Buddy Guy comes to Davis

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics