Myrtle Prisco attributes her longevity in life and marriage to Dr. Angelo Eugene Prisco to God’s goodness. The parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Catharine parish in Pelham Manor, married for 75 years, were identified as the longest-married couple in the archdiocese in a search conducted by the archdiocesan Family Life Office.
The Family Life Office conducts the annual search for archdiocesan couples sacramentally married 65 or more years in conjunction with World Marriage Day, on the second Sunday in February. This year, 35 couples will receive a certificate from Cardinal Dolan for being married 65 or more years.
“I think it’s all up to God,” Myrtle, 97, told CNY. “He made us healthy and gave us the brains and the knowledge to put up with each other and live each day as it comes.
“You rely on Him for everything and He always comes through. He made it possible for everything.”
The Priscos met at a Milwaukee dance hall in 1944. Angelo, a Bronx native, was a student at Marquette University’s dental school, and Myrtle was from the Green Bay suburb of Seymour and had relocated to Milwaukee for work.
“I saw her at a dance hall with some of her girlfriends and the way she looked, I just gave her a second and third look because I loved to look at her and I still do,” said Angelo, who will turn 99 in May.
Myrtle added, “At the time, I thought he was a very wise guy, a city slicker wise guy, but we had a lot of laughs together.”
The two went on their first date about a month later.
“He asked me for a date,” she said. “I thought he was just joking at the time but two days before the event he sent me a postcard that he would pick me up at a certain hour and he was there, and we’ve been dating since.”
Angelo practiced dentistry in New Rochelle for many years, and Myrtle raised the couple’s five children. The couple provided 42 years of college education for their children.
Their daughters, Sandy Fiore and Penny Hulbert, are retired teachers. Their three sons followed their father’s lead, with Gene serving as a dentist in New Rochelle, Mike as an orthodontist in Pelham and Joe as an oral surgeon in Poughkeepsie before his retirement.
The Priscos have 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
“First, they were both selfless, neither one was selfish,” said Joe, a parishioner of St. Martin de Porres in Poughkeepsie. “They raised their kids to be selfless. The second thing is they were both family first. They took care of their kids, the grandparents, and their sisters and brothers. They didn’t dwell on their own problems, they solved other people’s problems.
“Dad’s and mom’s work ethic was phenomenal. She took care of the family and extended family, and he worked very hard and did what he had to do to provide like he did for us.”
Sandy Fiore, also a parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Catharine, nominated her parents and said her parents communicated well with one another, making their marriage a long, happy one.
“My father was a great cook and my mother was a great German baker,” she said. “Being around the table talking, talking, talking, was something very important to the family and to them. My father made homemade wine with his father and then with his kids and my husband. His grandchildren had the chance to make it, too.
“They were both dedicated to their families.”
THE LONGEST-MARRIED COUPLES IN THE ARCHDIOCESE
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