NORTH WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — They dated for just three months and on Thursday one Long Island couple celebrated 70 years of marriage.
Leo and Lillian Shargel’s love story started with a blind date back on April 5, 1942, and a few months later, they rushed down the aisle due to Leo’s three-year U.S. Army deployment.
Lillian’s cousin invited the both of them to meet her at her home in Middle Village, Queens. That’s when Leo, now 95, said he knew instantly that he and Lillian, 91, would spend the rest of their lives together.
So what is their secret? Well, there really isn’t one, according to Leo.
“You don’t plan it. You don’t know if it’s going to be 70 years or seven days. Thank God we fell in love with each other and as lovers remained ever since,” he told 1010 WINS.
The couple said the key to a long marriage starts with never thinking of leaving as an option and never carrying a grudge, CBS 2′s Emily Smith reported.
“You can’t plan a life — it just can’t be done. Things happen — up and down whatever — the troubles we’ve been in, financial trouble, but we overcame them together. We had no intention of not sticking together. We never gave it a thought of being separated — never,” Leo said.
The Shargels have two children — Jerry and Judy — along with five grandchildren, ranging in age from 25 to 40, and nine great grandchildren, the youngest of which is just 8 months while the oldest is 9 years old.
Lillian called her “wonderful, wonderful family” the “highlights” of her marriage to Leo.
The couple currently lives in the Bristal Assisted Living Center, where they celebrated their special day Thursday surrounded by family, friends and fellow residents.
Seventy years after getting married at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn, at a time when Lillian said rooms were $5 per night, the couple tries to stay young by thinking young. Lillian even goes on Facebook every day and has 17 friends.
While the couple talked about renewing vows, they settled on a party.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to continue with good health and happiness in the future,” Lillian said.
The couple’s first date was at the movies where they saw “The African Queen” and then went for ice cream.
What do you think is the key to a long marriage? Share your thoughts in the comments section…