Want to see what the greatest real-life love stories look like? Read the obituaries.
When we read people’s obituaries, we often find out what mattered most to them and their families — and love is high on the list. Countless obituaries feature a favorite family love story. For many couples, “love at first sight” led to happily ever after. For others, it wasn’t so easy.
Today we’re sharing a few of our favorite love stories, gleaned from Legacy obituaries. Some of these life partners enjoyed more than half a century together, while others had precious little time. All remind us of the power of love and its importance in our lives.
Kevin Mobley knows what “love at first sight” feels like. He remembers vividly “the day he met the love of his life” — what Vivian was wearing, her smile, her beautiful eyes.
Lori Berni, too, always said it was “love at first sight” when she met Shelia Cimafranca. She would tell the story — often and to anyone who would listen — of meeting “the woman who stole her heart.”
Was it love at first sight for Bobby Aytes and Eric LaMay? Bobby’s obituary doesn’t say. But it’s clear that when Bobby met Eric, it was “destiny.” “Their love, commitment and respect for one another created an unbreakable bond.”
For some couples, enduring love can be a bit more complicated. Such was the case with Roberta Coffman and Dillard Duerksen. They met when Bert was walking down Main Street and fell in love at first sight — with his Turquoise 1960 Ford Starliner.
Larry and Hedy Emerson Webster, married for 57 years, loved to tell the story of how they fell in love at first sight — “even though each was engaged to someone else.”
For Frieda and Paul Cohen, it was love at first sight “complicated by a mutual stubbornness.” But “love persevered” for more than half a century when Frieda lost “her best friend and pain in the butt husband” to cancer.
Love didn’t bring Bob La Bier to El Paso, but love made him stay. His heart melted when he met “blond bombshell” Mickey. It was love at first sight for Bob — but not for Mickey, who told him to “bug off.” Undeterred, Bob called local radio stations every night to request “When a Man Loves a Woman” until eventually, he won Mickey’s heart.
It definitely “wasn’t love at first sight” for Harold and Doris Scalzo, who met on a blind date. “When Harold tried to kiss Doris, she bit his arm.”
It also was not love at first sight for Ron and Terri Buren. “Apparently, Ron said the wrong things, had the wrong attitude, and owned the wrong car.” But eventually, stars aligned, and Ron married his “most loyal friend” and “soulmate.”
True love can overcome many obstacles, and as Anthony and Debra Alonzo show, there’s no right way to begin a lasting relationship. The Alonzos were just 15 and 14 when their first child was born. But “against all odds, doubts, and expectations, Anthony and Debra set upon a life that would be the envy of all who knew them.”
Kathy Evans’s brothers “were not at all happy when she suddenly showed up one Christmas with a man she met at a bar” claiming it was “love at first sight.” But Kathy married Martin Solum anyway, and “they enjoyed a love that was admired by many,” with Martin’s devotion to Kathy “unwavering beyond her time here.”
Sometimes love bridges great divides to unite two people. Glen Segundo Ives spent his first 18 years in Chile before joining the U.S. Army and shipping out to Korea. “Years later, he would say that during that long crossing, he had a premonition that his life would change there … and surely it did” when he met Jung, a “bright, beautiful, and engaging young police woman.” They spoke different languages and had grown up “a world apart,” but it was “love at first sight.” Determined, they overcame “the immovable bureaucracies of two governments” and shared “55 years of true love, happiness, and adventure.”
Emerson Kanegusuke was a young Brazilian Air Force sergeant living in Tokyo when he met the love of his life, U.S. diplomat Patrick Linehan. As the first U.S. Consul General same-sex couple in Osaka, Japan, Emerson and Patrick worked to raise awareness about LGBT rights and even published a book, “Husbands,” about their life and work together as a gay diplomatic couple. And for more than 16 years, Emerson was the light of Patrick’s life.
Sometimes love comes when we need it most. For Eva and Isaac Chorub, it was in the aftermath of World War II, reeling from the horrors of the Holocaust. Eva had survived Auschwitz, only to learn that the rest of her family had been murdered by the Nazis. She met Isaac, who also had survived the concentration camps, and it was “love at first sight.” For 72 years, Eva and Isaac were “true partners, blending their talents, always working hard and always working together.”
David and Melody McCarty also found love at a time of great sadness. David was preparing for his mother’s funeral when he was introduced to Melody. “It was love at first sight. David was her North, her South, her East, her West, her working week and her Sunday rest, her noon, her midnight, her talk, and her song. And, Melody was his everything.”
They say love is worth waiting for, and R.C. Parrish would likely agree. He always said that he stopped shopping once he found what he was looking for. And when he met Faye Collins Harris, it was “love at first sight.” He wasn’t her first love (Faye was divorced with a five-year-old son when they met), but he was destined to be her greatest.
Richard and Lupe Tarazon once were a couple before life took them in different directions. When they reunited 25 years later, “it was like love at first sight all over again.” Though their time together was brief (they were married just 9 months before Richard died), they were the happiest couple, “the perfect example of how love is supposed to be.”
John Bangba Aseka and Njiba “Annabelle” Tshibola met in 2009 just before John left Africa to join his parents and siblings in the United States. Over the next nine years, John worked tirelessly to secure visas for Annabelle and her son Godwin, while the couple maintained their long-distance romance. Finally, in August 2018, Annabelle and Godwin arrived in the U.S. Soon after, John and Annabelle married and began their life together as husband and wife. Their time together was “short but very sweet.”
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