He was a man of service, of pride of family and love. “He never cursed” she remarks and his jolly demeanor is why she affectionately refers to him as her Santa Claus.

They grew up in the same neighborhood in Yonkers and he was several years older. Gino served in the marine core in a far away land she could barely fathom- the South Pacific. Pen pals first, Viola and the “ladies left behind” gleefully had correspondence with their male friends abroad. Upon their return, social events were frequent to reunite them all.

I’d say their courtship was simple, as he incidentally became her knight and shining armor on a night that could have gone terribly wrong. Viola’s friend telephoned to let her know Gino and some fellas were being sent to pick her up for the gathering from work. A car showed and she got in without question. Several blocks later it became clear the men in the car were not her intended ride. Thankfully she was able to phone her friends at a local drugstore who confirmed they had driven by and hadn’t seen her. Gino made the trip back to safely retrieve her. It seems the rest was history. Viola says “We both knew. Honest to God, I looked at him and he was just for me”. One of their first dates she recalls was on a hayride-snuggling up didn’t hurt.   

Gino and Viola DeMarco wed in 1949 and the story of their love still echoes in her mind some 60+ years later. Times were tough and money tight but back as their family grew and their relationship deepened they found pleasure in the simple things. Paying homage to the service, Gino would encourage the kids to stand when the marine core hymn played on television and respectfully they did so 🙂 As a couple they set steadfast roots for their children, faith being a large part in getting along. Gino visited St. Joseph’s church on many a lunch hours from the A+P and Viola, unlike many women of her time, went back to work for the phone company because in her mind raising a family meant helping support her kids attend college as well.

Their 5 children are a testament to their loving relationship, Viola bashfully admits they could have had 10. He always asked others “Isn’t she beautiful?” She blushed, but he meant it wholly. Right before he passed he confessed he didn’t want to leave her. Life partners of 45 years, their legacy of love now includes 20 grand and great children as well. Sitting in her living room recounting all they shared brings out a warmth that’s hard to deny. 

Their love four generations deep, her stories rich with detail, timeless they stand and that is a beautiful thing.

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