Louise Ramsey of Patchogue talks about meeting and marrying her husband, Wayne.
Our love story started at Hauppauge High School in 1968. I was 15, Wayne was 16, and my last name was Paone then. We didn't particularly like each other at first. I was a city girl, raised in Brooklyn, and Wayne grew up in Huntington. But I soon learned he wasn’t what I thought. He was collegiate and had many different interests I hadn’t been exposed to before. Plus, he was handsome.
We started to hang out together without our usual group of friends. When Wayne started coming by my house alone, I knew he liked me. Our first date was April 11, 1969, at the Howard Johnson's in Smithtown. We were so young his father had to drive us.
We dated for two years and did fun things like drives upstate with picnics off the back of his station wagon. Just being in the country or pulling over and eating lunch while watching nature made me very happy.
Wayne proposed to me in August 1971 before he went away to SUNY Delhi. We were married at St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Hauppauge and had our reception at the Summit Inn in St. James.
Wayne transferred to Stony Brook University as a full-time student, and I went to work at Sportsatron in Hauppauge to support us. We lived in an apartment in Port Jefferson Station. After Wayne graduated, we bought a house in Mastic Beach, and Wayne got a job teaching astronomy at Centereach High School.
Our daughter Sarah was born in 1977, and our second daughter, Rachel, was born two years later. We bought a home in Smithtown in 1981.
After our girls were older, I attended Suffolk County Community College, then Queens College. I received my master’s degree in speech language pathology at Hofstra University and got a job at the New York City Board of Education, meaning I drove 50 miles each way, every day, for a year. After getting my speech pathology license, I worked in the Kings Park school district; then I went out on my own and did what I truly wanted to do — work with children with disabilities on an individual basis. I did that for 20 years before retiring in 2017.
Wayne started teaching astronomy at Nassau Community College in 1983, first part-time, then full time, and has been there since.
We both love Long Island beaches and take every opportunity to visit Smith Point County Park and the Fire Island Lighthouse from Robert Moses State Park Field 5. Wayne introduced me to birding, and we go on walks to Connetquot State Park and Heckscher State Park. I introduced him to yoga, which we practice together once a week. I also taught him to play Siamese mah-jongg. He is a loving father to our daughters and a wonderful grandfather to our four grandchildren. I can always count on Wayne for adventures, big and small.
We moved to Patchogue Village in 2010 to be close to our children. For the past 10 years, the whole family has gathered at our home every Friday night for what we call pizza night. Sometimes we invite other members of the extended family to join us. It’s a wonderful way to get together and wrap up the week. We recently suspended them because of social distancing but look forward to gathering again soon.
We plan on eventually continuing our passion for travel throughout the United States.
— With Ann Donahue-Smukler
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