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The secret to 60 years

Couple celebrates diamond anniversary at Seabrook

Created date

March 26th, 2013

As Ruth and Leonard Eckle approached their 60th wedding anniversary, they couldn t think of anything better to do than to celebrate it with friends and neighbors of past and present. Having moved from Union County, N.J., to Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., their guest list comprised 25 friends from Union County and 25 friends from Seabrook. What better place to host 50 friends than Seabrook s Atrium a private catering room available to people who live at the community. According to Ruth, it was an event to remember, and a great party!

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An exuberant Ruth planned their anniversary with help from friends. Seabrook neighbor Trudi Lenz, an artist, designed and created a poster of pictures from the couple s wedding album. She also created place cards with a photo of the bride and groom. Leonard s former office manager helped Ruth choose the flowers ivory roses with baby s breath. Friends Ann Sodano and Mary Frain donated the cake. And a pianist from Seabrook provided live music of songs from the guests era. The bride came in with her veil on the arms of Harold Lenz. He s a resident here, Ruth says. I was given in marriage by my adopted grandson, Vitaliy Patsay. Guests enjoyed a delightful meal prepared by Seabrook s catering department, another convenient service available to people who live there. Ruth planned her menu with Catering Manager Beverly Smack, who does a wonderful job, paying attention to every detail, Ruth says. We had a wonderful time. Everything was beautiful, Ruth adds.

The boy next door

Ruth and Leonard met in childhood. I married the boy next door, Ruth says. When he moved in next door, he was 15 and I was 10 playing with dolls. But by the time he had graduated from college and attended optometry school, the age difference didn t matter, she says. And neither did Ruth s twin sister. He dated both of us, but I ended up with the brass ring on the merry-go-round. Ruth and Leonard wed on February 21, 1953. They have enjoyed a long and happy marriage based on humor, travel, and a little independence. I had my career, and he had his career. I think that helped, Ruth says of their successful union. They lived in their Union County house for many years, but when they began receiving lunch invitations at Seabrook, they decided to attend one. So we went to lunch and joined the priority list, Ruth says. The priority list reserved their place in line for the apartment home of their choice. We re very happy, she says. Ruth and Leonard still rely on independence for their happy marriage. Ruth volunteers and swims in the indoor swimming pool. Leonard attends history and opera classes at the community and stays fit in the on-site fitness center. And, as evident in Ruth s secret to a happy marriage, they still rely on a good sense of humor: You know what they say, Divorce, no, but murder, yes.

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