Connie and Vinnie Stile of Centereach attended a grandchild's graduation...

Connie and Vinnie Stile of Centereach attended a grandchild's graduation in June 2016. Credit: Stile Family

Connie (Curcio) Stile of Centereach talks about meeting her husband, Vinnie.

Vinnie Stile and I knew each other in our late teens. Our moms worked together at Sperry Gyroscope Corp. in Old Westbury. His family lived in Richmond Hill, Queens, and mine in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

After graduating from Catherine McAuley High School in Flatbush in 1953, I went to work at American Express in Manhattan. Vinnie had joined the Air Force, and whenever he had furlough, he would call me for a date (I’m sure at his mother’s insistence). We’d usually go to lunch and see a movie in Manhattan. He was a nice enough guy, but I had my sights on someone else.

In 1955, I started a new job as a private secretary at Alcoa Corp. in Manhattan, a great job with great benefits. Two years later my parents threw themselves a 25th wedding anniversary party. Vinnie, who had been discharged only two days earlier, was invited. He had a great time, but not with me. I spent my time with Frank, the guy I had my eye on. Two weeks later friends were having a pre-Christmas party, to which I invited Frank, but he wasn’t available. So, I brought Vinnie. We ended up having a terrific time along with four other couples. We spent the evening talking, laughing, singing Christmas carols and sipping a little wine. At one point, my girlfriends took me aside and said, "This guy is great!" When Vinnie took me home, he kissed me good night. We both felt something special, and that was the beginning of our 60-year love story.

We dated for two years before getting engaged; we married on Nov. 19, 1960, at an 11 a.m. Mass at what's now St. Lucy-St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn. Our wedding reception was at the Regency House in Jamaica, Queens, where we broke tradition and had a sit-down turkey dinner (a chicken entree buffet was the norm). After our honeymoon at the Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos, we moved to an apartment on Main Street in Flushing.

I continued working at Alcoa until our first child, Vincent, was born. Vinnie, who graduated from RCA Institutes, worked in Manhattan as an electronic technician for a while and later for Pan American Airways in radio communication.

After our second child, Laura, was born, we bought a high ranch in Centereach for our growing family. Some 57 years later, it’s still our home. Our third daughter, Lisa, was born in 1969.

Connie and Vincent Stile on their wedding day, Nov. 19, 1960,...

Connie and Vincent Stile on their wedding day, Nov. 19, 1960, in Brooklyn. Credit: Stile Family

Vinnie took a job closer to home at Gyrodyne in St. James where he worked for two years before becoming a Suffolk County police officer. He specialized in repairing and installing police radios. Twenty years later he retired as a police officer but was hired back as a technical director for radio communications, a civilian position. He retired again in 2005 but headed to the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for five years where he was again in communications.

We traveled extensively in the United States and Europe through Vinnie’s position as president of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.

This year we celebrated our 60th anniversary quietly, but we are planning a trip to Greece in 2021 to really celebrate.

Together we’ve raised three beautiful children. We’ve been blessed with 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Vinnie has been a loving, caring and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandpa and friend. I’m proud and blessed to call him my love. We’ve had joy and sorrow along the way, and we thank God for getting us through the tough times and providing the joyous times.

— With Ann Donahue-Smukler

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Access the online form at newsday.com/lilovestory — or send an anecdote along with your phone number and a photo to ann.smukler@newsday.com, or call Ann Donahue-Smukler at 631-843- 2520. Publication is not guaranteed. Photos cannot be returned and may be used in other publications affiliated with Newsday.

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME