Love Story: Mary and Robert McCloskey, Westbury

Robert and Mary McCloskey of Westbury celebrated their

Robert and Mary McCloskey of Westbury celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013 on a cruise with their family. (Credit: Handout)

Mary and Robert "Bobby" McCloskey of Westbury had to get past an unwanted intervention by her father shortly after they met. Mary explains:

 

Our neighbors in the Bronx were throwing a party in 1961 and invited my family. I was a nurse at Misericordia Hospital, also in the Bronx. I had just finished my shift and decided to stay home.

When my mother stopped by to get extra chairs for the guests, she persuaded me to go back with her. At the party, I noticed a young man holding and caring for a two-month-old infant. "You're pretty good at handling a baby," I said to him. We started talking.

His name was Bobby and he lived in Manhattan. The baby was his niece. He had recently finished a two-year stint in the Army as a tank driver with the 35th Armored Division in Germany. We were both 20 years old.

It turns out that our parents had known each other for many years. Bobby asked for my phone number, but when I saw he was about to write it on a matchbook cover I said no, thinking he would probably throw it away when he ran out of matches. Bobby persisted and I finally gave in. He also insisted on walking me home after the party and promised to call me in a couple of days.

I was called into work the day he said he would phone, so I left my father a note asking him to give Bobby my number at work. Dad knew Bobby was at our neighbor's house and, instead of waiting for him to call, he went over there.

He found Bobby and said, "You're supposed to call my daughter today!" He gave Bobby my number and waited right there until he made the call! I was very embarrassed to find out my father literally forced him to call. Bobby swore he had every intention of phoning me. We started dating and were married on April 20, 1963, at St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx.

Bobby worked as a truck mechanic and in maintenance for Hostess Bakeries in Hicksville. He retired in 1991, then worked part-time as custodian for the Bethpage School District until 2002. I retired in 2001 as a registered nurse in the operating room at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre.

We belong to the Irish American Club in Plainview and both do volunteer work. Bobby is a driver for the Northport VA Medical Center and the East Meadow VA clinic. I work with the outreach program at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Hicksville.

This year, for our 50th anniversary, our four children, daughter-in-law and sons-in-law hosted a party at Frank's Steaks in Jericho, then they treated us to a cruise to the Bahamas with them, our eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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