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Married for 76 Years! Mulberry Gardens Celebrates Six Couples on Their Everlasting Love

February 14, 2022

Six couples who reside at Mulberry Gardens of Southington assisted living, adult day and memory care community, had a special Valentine's Day as they renewed their vows and celebrated marriages of up to 76 years. “They’ve been through so much over the last two years, it is nice to celebrate something happy," said Jacquelyn Gaulin, Mulberry Gardens' Executive Director. "It is also nice to learn from the couples about love, it is something we all need,” The couples were accompanied by friends, family and fellow residents, with the lobby decorated to perfection, as they said “I do” once more. The Rev. Victoria Triano, pastoral care, Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, facilitated the ceremony. The wives received colorful bouquets and each couple was given a Southington Proclamation Certificate by Paul Chaplinski, Vice Chairman of the Southington Town Council. “It is my privilege to be a part of six couples renewing their vows," he said. "It is great to see so many people in attendance." Here's a quick look at each couple:

Rita and Bob Van Epps

  • Married: 1962 (60 years). Mulberry Gardens
  • Former home: Southington.
  • Favorite activity: Camping.
  • Advice: “Make it work. The path is not an easy one, it’s up to you to make it work.”

Mary and Tom Kline

  • Married: 1959 (63 years).
  • Former home: Plantsville section of Southington.
  • Favorite activity: All Mother Nature has to offer, including camping and hiking with family.
  • Advice: “Compromise.”

Paula and John Lutkus

  • Married: 1958 (64 years).
  • Former home: Marion section of Southington.
  • Favorite activity: Vacationing with family members.
  • Advice: “Compromise with your loved one.”
[caption id="attachment_38805" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Mulberry Gardens Roland, left, and Margo Veillette review their proclamation.[/caption]

Margo and Roland Veillette

  • Married: 1957 (65 years in June).
  • Former home: Plantsville section of Southington.
  • Favorite activity: Avid travelers, from Florida in the winter to Canada in the summer.
  • Advice: “People say marriage is 50/50 but it should be 100/100. You need to give your all to your loved one.”

Iva and Brewster Yates

  • Married: 1956 (66 years in September).
  • Former home: Cheshire.
  • Favorite activity: Camping.
  • Advice: “Love each other.”

Edith and Peter Procko (Pictured at Top)

  • Married: 1946 (76 years in October).
  • Former home: Plainville.
  • Favorite activity: Traveling to Florida.
  • Advice: "People say it’s a 50/50 operation, but you need to give 100 percent to your spouse."
“This is all very exciting and a great way to celebrate love, marriage and life,” said Donna Johnson, Activities Director at Mulberry Gardens. Mulberry Gardens of Southington, part of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, is a not-for-profit assisted living, adult day and memory care community at 58 Mulberry St. in the Plantsville section of Southington.