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Life-Long Love Stories

by Linnea Crowther

Some of our greatest romances are told in the obituaries.

Who doesn’t love telling and retelling the tale of how they met their sweetheart? A good love story can be passed down through the generations, revisited with kids and grandkids any time we’re feeling nostalgic. And a great love story is worth sharing with the world.

Many of those great love stories find their way to the obituary page. In the past year, hundreds of timeless tales of romance were told in obituaries shared on Legacy. Here are a few of our favorites.


Zenaida Macadaan‘s obituary tells of the flowers, telegrams, and cassette tapes she and her husband exchanged while he was deployed to faraway places. But their love story began long before her days as a Navy wife: “Her legacy will be her love story with her D.O., ‘Dearest One,’ soul-mate and loving husband, Carlos. Her earliest memories of them were playing hide and go seek as young kids in the streets of the neighborhood they shared in San Augustin. They both were lucky to end up together for Carlos would say Zeny was out of his league. Little did he know that she shared the same sentiment for him.”

World War II love stories abound in our culture, and some of the sweetest ones are immortalized in obituaries, like Rudy Viol‘s: “As his 1945 high school Class Mirror lists his entry ‘Let’s Find Some Women!’, he did just that in the south of France, when a dark-haired French beauty, Alice, caught Rudy’s US Navy sailor eye, & their love-story was timeless. Whether dancing to ‘In The Mood’, running thru sprinklers together, or on trips to Europe, Florida, Canada, Hawaii, they demonstrated to friends/ family that they were, ‘toi et moi—amor toujours’. Rudy dances with Alice’s angel now, once again, ‘toi et moi’.”

For Tamara Boatz, the greatest love story of her life began at church: “The story goes that Jerry saw Tammy in church one Sunday morning and he made a plan to meet that girl! Each Sunday after that, he moved up another pew until he was sitting right behind her. Catholics shake hands during Mass to give the ‘Sign of Peace’ and Jerry’s plan was set — he knew he had met the girl he was going to marry! Tammy became the love of his life and the feeling was mutual.”

Religion formed the backbone of Nancy Ryan‘s love story in a very different way: “She took the name, Sister Mary Caritas and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph convent at age 17; he became Brother Cormac and as a LaSallian Christian Brother followed a wanderlust that propelled him across the globe. Fate intervened. They met team-teaching on Chicago’s Southwest side at St. Paul High School. Easy conversation blossomed into friendship. … In 1970, Sister Mary Caritas petitioned successfully to leave the convent after 11 years. Brother Cormac cut his posting short and left his order. Their wedding program from July 3, 1971, read: ‘Be happy … because love, the finest and richest in our lives, is celebrated today.'”

Some love stories are full of personality, like Gary Stoker‘s: “It was while working as an orderly that he caught his second glimpse of his future wife. His first encounter was when he came to her at the local fast food restaurant. She was shy and he was determined so he said what he thought would make her smile, ‘Can I have some fries with all that shake.’ From there, their love story unfolded and he was noted to say it was that day his life truly began.”

Others, like that of Auxilina Harmes, evoke the quiet companionship of a decades-long marriage: “Auxi and Jack’s love story spanned 60 years. Their companionship was unique in its endearing closeness. One of their greatest joys was holding hands and talking for hours at the kitchen table or on the porch at the lake. They loved watching the moon rise over the Ossipee Mountains from the porch in the evening.”

Perhaps the most sought-after love story is the one that never ends. That’s what Ulla and Erik Jorgensen had. Their story began 75 years ago: “Ulla and Erik were married on May 8, 1943 in Fredericia, Denmark. Erik was employed as a Steam Locomotive Engineer and Ulla first saw him in uniform walking past her home. She made sure to meet him the next day and the rest is a love story that all of us enjoy sharing.” When Ulla and Erik’s love story came to a close last December, it was because they died eight days apart, at 95 and 97: “It is often said that love is the strongest force in the world as they were inseparable in life and could not be separated by death itself.”

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