Hilton Head Island couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

abredeson@islandpacket.comJune 28, 2013 

Not many people can say they've been married 70 years. But Alexander and Michelina Torre can.

The Hilton Head Island couple were married June 27, 1943, in a monastery in Union City, N.J.

Now both 96 years old and living at the assisted living and memory care community Bloom at Hilton Head, the Torres seem to still be smitten with each other.

Michelina, who goes by "Mickey," doesn't say a whole lot, but when she does speak, she only utters kind words about her beloved Alexander.

"She's always talking about how sweet he is," said Jaziel Green, Bloom at Hilton Head life enrichment coordinator.

Green said Alexander is always looking out for his bride, often reminding her when it's time for his wife's weekly manicure.

Bloom executive director Steven Frisch agrees. He said when the med tech brings Mickey her medication, Alexander looks carefully at the pills in the cup to make sure she's getting the right ones, then looks at the clock to make sure she's getting them at the right time of day.

So, what's the secret to a long-lasting marriage?

"It's been easy," Alexander said. "You just work together. If you have problems, you work them out together."

He said it helps to have their own hobbies. But mostly, he said, just spending time together is the best way to keep the marriage going.

Alexander described the day he met Mickey.

"We lived in New Jersey, and we both worked in New York," he said. "One day I got on the bus, and she was on the bus already. I saw her standing there, and I said, 'That's the gal I want to meet.'"

It was love at first sight.

Alexander said one of his friends knew Mickey, so he asked her to introduce them. Then he told his friend to "get lost."

The rest -- as they say -- is history.

The Torres celebrated their 70th anniversary June 27 with their friends at Bloom. They are spending the weekend celebrating with their family -- their two sons and their wives, as well as two grandchildren.

"Being married for 70 years is almost unheard of," Frisch said. "I mean, I'm sure it happens, but to live that long is amazing already. And then to be able to make the relationship work for 70 years and still look at each other like they do is amazing."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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