Secret Valentine’s Day wedding leads to 75 years of marriage for local couple

Secret Valentine’s Day wedding leads to 75 years of marriage for local couple
Rich and Shirley Rosenberger celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day 2020. (TribLIVE/TribLIVE)

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Valentine’s Day holds extra meaning for New Kensington couple Rich and Shirley Rosenberger: It’s their wedding anniversary. And this year is their 75th as husband and wife!

The Rosenbergers met in high school and secretly married about a year later, in 1945, while Rich was on leave during World War II, they told Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.

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So, what’s their advice for a long-lasting marriage?

Rich, 93, had this to say: “If you fight, make up real quick and try and be as civil as you can,” he told TribLIVE. “We’ve had our ups and downs. It hasn’t always been easy.”

“Communicate and talk it out,” Shirley, 92, added. “And never go to bed mad.”

Now, back to their secret wedding ceremony.

“We were married at the parsonage, and I was 17 and still in high school,” Shirley told TribLIVE. “We were married at 7 p.m., and I felt so important that evening.”

After the wedding, Shirley returned to school -- with her wedding ring on a necklace instead of her finger.

“It was a really big secret for us. I was a senior in high school, and you weren’t allowed to be married then,” Shirley told TribLIVE.

Rich came back from his naval duties on the couple’s first wedding anniversary.

The Rosenbergers settled into New Kensington’s Aluminum City Terrace community, where they’ve lived ever since.

CLICK HERE to read more of the Rosenbergers’ story.