GOOD NEWS Lovebirds at Nursing Home Renew Wedding Vows After 75 Years Together
A New York couple celebrated a major marriage milestone with an elaborate ceremony at their nursing home's chapel.
Karl and Elizabeth Gfatter, 94 and 91 years old respectively, renewed their vows for their 75th wedding anniversary. The celebration was attended by dozens, including the nurses and administrators who planned the event.
“We wanted everything to be grand and wonderful,” said Jeff Pryluck, director of recreation for the River Valley Center, to ABC News. “I asked Elizabeth and Karl if they’ve ever renewed their vows. They said, ‘Yes they had, but it’s been a while.’ We ran with it from there. Decorating the chapel, contacting a priest in the area, we’ve really become their extended family."
They bought Karl and Elizabeth a suit and a dress for the special occasion. A stylist came in and did Elizabeth's hair and nails, and gave Karl a trim, too.
Elizabeth was rolled down the aisle in her wheelchair and had tears in her eyes when she said "I do" to the man she's loved for the past three quarters of a century. When they kissed, the room erupted in cheers.
“It was the best,” Elizabeth later said.
She and Karl lived in the same apartment building as children and began dating as teenagers, after having their first date at an ice cream parlor.
Karl's father was so sure the marriage wouldn't last that he offered him $100 if they made it to their first anniversary. Karl says he paid in cash. And the next 75 years is history.
Elizabeth offered some advice for a successful marriage.
"Love and honesty...and be good to each other."
Pryluck said there were a lot of tears going on in the room.
"Karl was very happy," he said. "They thought it was too much and thought we shouldn’t do such a big deal, but you can’t let 75 years go to waste.”