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Inspirational Love Stories of Palo Alto Couples

Original post made by lew697, Charleston Gardens, on Feb 13, 2013

Many people spend a lifetime searching for true love, but three couples at Moldaw Residences have found it, and they have wonderful stories and fabulous advice to share. Native San Franciscans 75-year-old Harry and 73-year-old Ellen Rubinchik started dating at Lincoln High School and have spent 54 years of marriage doing adventurous things together. Harry remembers carrying Ellen’s books every day at school, and he made a surprise proposal at her high school graduation party. 81-year-old Manny and 75-year-old Bee Cherkas got married four years ago. The couple is smitten, enjoys travelling together, and proves that you can find love at any age. 92-year-old Jack and 85-year old Shirley Geffner have been married 66 years, and they fell in love after Shirley’s aunt gave her phone number to Jack to set them up. His persistence and humor helped seal the deal.

“Her aunt gave her number to my brother and he forwarded it to me, so it was a blind date. My mother told me, the best thing I could do is go to bed with a nurse, and that is why I decided to marry her,” chuckled Jack Geffner. “She accepted me and we had a lot in common since I was a podiatrist and she was a nurse. I was 36 when we married, and it was time. I had waited until I graduated from college and got out of the Air Force before settling down. I wanted to make sure that I could support a family.”

“My aunt had given my number to several people, and when he called me, I told him I was busy because I was not interested in anyone my aunt contacted. After the third call, I agreed to go out with him,” said Shirley Geffner. “He took me on a double date, and afterwards I told my mom he was okay, but he had a good looking friend. He grew on me. He had a good sense of humor, and we had a lot in common. He was the poorest out of anyone I dated, but he had a very nice personality. We continue to enjoy each other, respect each other and it is nice having somebody in bed with you.”

While the Geffners tied the knot 66 years ago, Manny and Bee Cherkas will celebrate five years of marriage this July. The couple actually started dating after sitting next to each other at a meet and greet lunch at Moldaw Residences before the community broke ground, and got married seven months later.

“Who would think at 70 you would find someone, but it happens,” said Bee. “I remember when one of my adult daughters first met Manny, she asked so many questions it was almost embarrassing. She was being very protective. Our relationship has been easy since we have good health, no young children, no financial problems, and no in-laws. I believe that it is never too late for new beginnings.”

“It is wonderful finding love with such a wonderful woman. We hit it off very quickly and we knew we wanted to stay together,” said Manny. “When we got married, I thought, ‘This is the start of the rest of my life,’ and I am enjoying every minute of it.”

It is not every day that you hear about high school sweethearts who have been married for nearly 55 years. Harry and Ellen Rubinchik went to the senior prom together, and Harry gave her his fraternity pin which Ellen later lost.

“He asked me to marry him during my high school graduation party, and he was so nervous that he broke the ring box. We were going to have a big wedding, but both of our parents gave us money, and we decided to save it for a down payment on a house instead,” said Ellen. “We have one son, and we have shared a lot of fun adventures together. We believe in working together, being good to each other and talking things out. We are very fortunate; it is like I have never been without him.”

“We have so many friends that remarried and divorced. We are one of the few couples that stayed together,” said Harry. “Your love grows over time, and the longer you stay together, the greater you feel about each other. I always tell people, do not run away when there is a problem, it is important to work things out.”


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