Antoinette and Vinny Iannucci of Westbury celebrated their 40th anniversary...

Antoinette and Vinny Iannucci of Westbury celebrated their 40th anniversary in October, 2016. Credit: Iannucci family

Antoinette Iannucci of Westbury recalls the unique way she introduced herself to future husband Vinny.

In 1971, I was 14 and staying with my grandparents in Durazzano, Italy, for six weeks. My parents had moved from there to the United States and settled in Westbury before I was born.

One day I was on the rooftop of my grandparents’ home when I saw Vinny walking past the house. He was 16 and lived down the block. We hadn’t formally met, but I had noticed him before. He was so cute. I wanted to get his attention so I threw a clothespin down and hit him on the head. He yelled in pain (I was two stories high), looked up at me, then kept walking.

Not long after that, I took a bus to the beach with a group of friends. Vinny came along. At one point he was standing near me, grabbed my hand and smiled at me. I melted. Over the next three weeks we started hanging out together with our friends.

When I returned home I began my sophomore year at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville. Vinny and I wrote to each other often. The following summer my parents and I went back to Italy. Vinny met with my father and was given permission to go out with me. After our visit ended, we continued our courtship by mail.

In 1973, Vinny moved to Westbury. His father had come to Long Island in the 1960s to work and had started his own construction company. Vinny stayed with him and worked in the business. We continued dating, usually going bowling or to the movies.

In 1975, he proposed to me on my 18th birthday. We married on Oct. 16, 1976, at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Westbury. Our reception was at the Huntington Town House.

We have two children, a daughter-in-law and a soon-to-be son-in-law, whom we love dearly.

Vinny, a government worker for 20 years with the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County, is an inspector for the Nassau County Department of Social Services. I am an account executive and insurance broker with USI Insurance Services in Uniondale. I have worked in the industry for 34 years. We enjoy traveling and have been to the Caribbean many times, and every year we return to Italy where it all began.

Vinny has a big heart and is always ready to help others. Through the years we have housed people who needed a place to stay. In 2012, we created Club Napoli, which offers free Italian language classes for elementary school-age children. The club has held fundraisers for superstorm Sandy victims and ill community members. Vinny is the club’s president and I am the secretary.

For our 25th anniversary in 2001, we renewed our vows at St. Brigid Church, where we were wed.

To mark our 40th anniversary, we stayed with friends at the Villa Roma resort in Callicoon, in upstate Sullivan County. We feel being together for 40 years is celebration enough.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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