Every night, for the past 70 years of their marriage, Tony and Anita Galofaro climb into bed together and hold hands as they fall asleep. It’s a ritual they started when they wed Oct.13, 1944, after just seven weeks of dating.
Tony, 92, and Anita, 93, both served in the Navy in World War II. She worked alongside his sister, Josephine, in Washington D.C. “I kept hearing about her brother, Tony, being away overseas, and when he came home on leave, she brought him to the office and introduced us,” Anita recalled.
Tony asked his eventual-wife on a date for that evening. “She readily agreed,” he said. For the next six weeks, they courted “mostly over the phone and on weekends,” before Tony proposed. “She had cow eyes,” he joked about what made him ask for her hand in marriage. The pair hopped a train to Terra Haute in a small ceremony. Afterward, “we probably went around the corner to the tavern,” he said, as they both chuckled.
After being discharged from the military, the Galofaros moved to Terra Haute in 1946 where Tony worked in the electrical engineering industry. Over time, they would have three children. “For a long time, I was working out of town and getting home on the weekends,” said Tony. “She took care of mowing the lawn and taking care of the kids. It wasn’t your job and mine job, it was our job. We just always worked together and made the best we could.”
“We never lived a special life,” Anita said. “It’s just been ordinary. Our kids always had enough to eat, a place to stay and they always dressed real nice. We feel like we’ve been blessed. We really can’t complain too much.”
But if they wanted to, no one could blame them.
“We had three (kids), two girls and a boy. But our boy, (Samuel), when he was 17 he’d just graduated from high school and was registered for college and was working at a bakery that summer and was on his way home when some girl hit him head-on in an auto accident,” Anita said.
The Galofaros and their daughters all wound up living in Southern Indiana. Years later, their daughter Audree died of cancer “two weeks after her 40th birthday. We ended up adopting her two little girls. They were 11 and 12 (then),” Anita recalled as she and Tony sat in rocking chairs on the screened-in porch of the large, beautiful Jeffersonville home they share with their sole surviving child, daughter Julie and her husband Thomas Moore.
“There’s a lot of hardships in life, and everybody handles them differently. You just have to respect that. Tony and I, you know, lost children, and (after one of the funerals) a friend of ours said, ‘When I saw you walking out of the church holding hands, I knew that you were both going to make it.’ I hadn’t even noticed that we were,” Anita said.
“You’ve got to show (love) and mean it,” Tony said.