Angie and Bill Daly are months away from celebrating 60 years of married bliss. Well, maybe it wasn’t all bliss, Angie said, but they must know how marriage survives, because they are still happily together.
The two met at a church dance in Brooklyn in 1956. Angie’s brother Vin knew Bill from their days together at the Vincentian seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. So when they encountered each other at the coat check, Bill noticed Vin’s armful of coats.
“Where’re you going with all those coats?” Bill asked. To which Vin explained he brought seven girls to the dance. “I said, you’re just the guy I want to talk to.”
Angie was the first girl he asked to dance.
“I was attracted to guys who were fair with blue eyes,” Angie said. “It was those blue eyes. And I thought he was suave.”
At the end of the evening, Bill asked Angie if he could drive her home.
“I thought everything about her was terrific,” Bill said. “She was so bright and cheerful and outgoing — and cute.”
She said yes, but only if some of the other girls could come along. So they piled into his yellow Olds 98 convertible and on the way home, the car broke down.
“It just died,” Angie said. They were alongside a big cemetery. It was around midnight; no houses or stores were nearby. It started to snow. Angie and Bill left the others in the car and went to find help.
They finally reached some stores, but only the bar and grill was open. They went in and called Vin, who had been home for some time, got dressed, picked them up, drove all the girls home and dropped Bill off at the train station.
“So the first night we met, we had problems,” Angie said.
They got engaged in 1957, married in 1958, and the babies started coming in 1959. By 1969, the couple had four sons and two daughters. Bill taught algebra and business at John Adams High School in Queens. The family lived in Brentwood. He moved into sales with State Farm insurance company and operated his own agency for 28 years. The pair moved to Smithtown, where they resided for 25 years before moving to Jefferson’s Ferry in South Setauket a little more than four years ago.
They still enjoy spending time together.
“We have a lot in common: walking, dancing, visiting friends. We’re on the same page,” Angie said, as she turned to Bill to says “Is that a good answer?”
“Yes,” he replied, adding, “listening to a little music … we try to outdo each other in kindness.”
Asked what she thought were the main factors in a good marriage, Angie said she thought that having animals helped a lot.
“Our loving, therapeutic animals kept us together,” she said, adding that she believes they had a calming influence and can reset your feelings when emotions occasionally get out of hand.
And, of course, there is their faith.
“I remember in elementary school the nuns saying ‘marriage is not just a man and a woman. It’s God, man and woman,’” she said. “And I think we both felt that. We always forgave.”