Oceanside couple to celebrate 70 Years together


One couple in Oceanside is gearing up for an big celebration - their 70th wedding anniversary, a milestone reached by only .12 percent of all married couples, or about 1 in 1000. Joseph and Jean Aniano, now both 90 years old, reminisced about their fateful meeting on the shores of Coney Island when they were just teenagers.

Jean, a week shy of her 16th birthday at the time, vividly recalls the moment she met seventeen-year-old Joseph. He and his friends came over to her friend’s blanket on the beach. Joseph’s suave pickup line, “What have you got to eat?” broke the ice, sparking a conversation that would set the course for their lives together.

Their courtship was marked by youthful adventures and budding romance. They went to a movie a week later followed by another movie the following week. The two hit it off, and have been together ever since.

Joseph served in the military during the Korean War and was stationed for 12 months in Japan and then for 6 months in Korea.

Following Joseph’s return, the couple exchanged vows in a modest ceremony in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn with about 45 guests. Their honeymoon was a week in the Poconos. They started their married life in a small apartment in Brooklyn but soon moved to Island Park. After 4 years, they moved to a bigger home in Oceanside when their children started coming, and after 2 years, they moved into the house they have now. They built a life together, raising four children Thomas, Charles, Jenine, and Lisa, and welcoming 15 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren into their loving embrace.

Reflecting on their journey, Joseph attributes their enduring marriage to dedication and mutual respect. Joseph says there is no secret to a long marriage, but he does admit that marriage is not easy. When Jean and Joseph were young, people got married younger and had more children.

“We had more fun with a lot less way back then,” he said.

Jean says the biggest challenge in their marriage was just getting started. Joseph wanted a job that could support him and his growing family. That’s when he decided to go into the police department for its stability. He knew where he would be for the next 20 years.

After 20 years as a New York City detective, the last seven of which were in the homicide squad, he retired from the police department and started an armored trucking company that later evolved into a successful import/export business with an office at Kennedy Airport. The company is still in operation today but it’s no longer a family business. JJoseph retired from that company after 20 years. Meanwhile, Jean pursued her career, working for the telephone company and later enjoyed a fulfilling 8-year stint at a department store, which she said was “a lot of fun”.

In their younger years, both Joseph and Jean actively engaged in the American Legion in Island Park. Joseph was the commander of the post and helped to organize the hall rental for weddings and parties. Jean organized bus trips to Atlantic City to raise money for the Legion. Their friends were mostly from the American Legion, and the parents of their kids’ soccer teammates. Joseph coached soccer for about 8 years until the kids graduated high school.

Throughout their marriage, travel has been a source of joy and adventure. They have traveled to many places, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Israel. As age began to limit their overseas adventures, weekends in Atlantic City became a tradition.

As they approach their milestone anniversary, Joseph and Jean are grateful for the family they’ve raised and the memories they’ve shared as well as for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Joseph said he is thankful to have made wise financial decisions so they wouldn’t have to struggle their entire lifetime. When asked what she’s most grateful for, Jean’s answer is simple: “Just being here.”

Their home has sculptures in the corners of various rooms, created by Joseph’s brother. On one wall is a watercolor of a blossoming tree, done by Jean’s sister. The artwork is professionally done and stunning but is a reminder of family. With Valentine’s Day just past, Joseph’s thoughtful gesture - a colorful bouquet on the dining room table and a box of chocolates for Jean - serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring romance that has sustained them for seven decades.

“I didn’t forget,” said Jean. “I never forget Valentine’s.”