Shirley and Bob Incollingo met in the summer of 1955 while they were both working for General Motors Acceptance Corporation.
She was 18, the youngest of five children born to a Catholic family of Irish-English descent. He was 22, the middle of five Italian-American children, also Catholic.
They started dating soon after and got married in February 1957 at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Camden, N.J. They raised five children, including Jim Incollingo, a friend of mine married to my former colleague, Beth Fand Incollingo, and have 15 grandchildren.
They live in Sicklerville, N.J., with their 12-year-old dog, Beau, and many joyful memories. They like to joke around with each other, rarely missing an opportunity at good-natured ribbing.
During our interview, each of them shed some tears and chuckles as they looked back on their marriage, which will mark its 54th anniversary on Feb. 9, 2011.
Bob Incollingo, who received his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and retired from the finance industry 12 years ago, worked for numerous firms, including ITT Financial as a vice president.
Shirley Incollingo was a stay-at-home mom and grandmother much of her life.
Their children tell them that the way they shout at each other from time to time and make up with laughter reminds them of George Costanza’s parents on “Seinfeld.”
Their relationship hasn’t been perfect, but laughter and doting on one another have kept them together through the good times and the more difficult moments, they said.