Webster-Kirkwood Times February 8, 2013.
The arrival of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and an abundance of roses in retail stores signifies that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Romance is in the heart of the beholder, but a lifetime of love and friendship can create many wonderful memories.
A few seniors attending the Shepherd’s Center of Webster-Kirkwood’s Saturday morning activities for older adults graciously shared their Valentine’s memories. They have a combined total of 185 years of matrimony between them and they know a thing or two about relationships, marriage and Valentine’s Day.
Beth Warburton was married to Dave for 50 years. Warburton met her late husband at church while she was painting Sunday school rooms. Dave was a military man and the couple would attend Valentine’s parties held at the military base. She said those parties were always fun times.
Warburton leaned forward with a smile and the twinkle of a Valentine’s memory in her eye. “Well, I don’t know if it is my fondest, but it is the weirdest,” she said.
Warburton’s husband decided it would be nice spend Valentine’s weekend at a local hotel. It was a cold February and the swimming pool and other hotel amenities would offer a fun get-a-way.
However, at 2 a.m. the fire alarm went off and they had to quickly evacuate the room. “There we were in our night clothes outside in the freezing cold. We didn’t grab the car keys so we could
Sometimes when things do not go exactly as planned they turn out to be the most memorable.get warm,” Warburton said laughing. “We had to wait for them to let us back in and found out it was a false alarm.”
Norman and Pegi Nardoni met in 1989 through mutual friends. Norman recalls that Pegi did not want to date him at first, but she thought he was a lot of fun. It is now 24 years later and they are still laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
Their first Valentine’s Day was filled with romantic tradition. Norman gave Pegi a heart-shaped box of candy and roses. That first gentle Valentine’s gesture holds special meaning for Pegi. “It turned out great. No matter what I had fun with him,” Pegi Said. “I tell people I married a party.”
The most exciting Valentine’s Day was dinner at Dierdorf and Hearts restaurant. Norman surprised Pegi with a special gift. They were dressed up for the evening and during dinner, just like in the movies, Norman pulls out a velvet box containing a gold bracelet. Pegi fondly rubs the bracelet on her wrist and said she never takes it off. Norman looks at Pegi with an attentive warm smile conveying that Valentine’s Day is also one of his favorites. The couple said that every day is good and it will always be an ideal Valentine’s Day as long as they spend it together.
Vic Delpani met his late wife, Maureen, while they were working in the same building. They were married for 55 years and he can’t ever remember having a fight.
“Maureen was everything I ever wanted in a girl,” Delpani said. “She was the love of my life.”
Delpani was an accountant and traveling auditor. He has four children and says he balanced the budget with two boys and two girls. Delpani worked out of town quite often. Going out to dinner and a movie and just being together was always a great Valentine’s Day.
Mimi Decker met Bob while they were both attending Washington University. Mimi was married to her late husband for 56 years and said every single year they had together was perfect.
“If you really love someone every day is Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to wait the whole year to say something,” Decker said. “You can just stop them in a hallway and say do you know that I’m just really crazy about you. You and I are having the best time in our lives.”
Decker conveyed that sometimes the material gifts given at Valentine’s Day can be unimportant.
Published: Webster-Kirkwood Times February 8, 2013