San Diego couple explains secret to 70 years of marriage

92-year-old Mike DiMaggio has no qualms about telling people he met his wife Jackie on a Greyhound bus.

“I was going to see my brother who was in the military up at Terminal Island,” he said.

Jackie, who is also 92 years old, was headed that way too. Surprisingly she knew his family from the Little Italy neighborhood where they both grew up, but had never run into Mike. That is, until they both ended up on that northbound bus.

The pair dated for about six months and married on Feb. 9, 1947, just two days after Jackie’s 21st birthday. With three children – two sons and a daughter – seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, the DiMaggio’s continue to make San Diego their home.

While they might have slowed down over the last 70 years, they still are active. They spend about four days a week at their favorite place, the City of San Diego’s Senior Lounge in Balboa Park. The lounge is managed by the Park and Recreation Department and is one of several opportunities offered by Senior Citizen Services. The DiMaggio’s have been coming to the Lounge for more than a decade and describe it as a secondary living room for them. They consider the others who visit it part of their extended family.

“Mike and Jackie DiMaggio are a fixture here and are the longest attending participants at the Balboa Park Senior Lounge,” said Kristie Fenick, District Manager, City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department. “For the City’s senior programs, our focus is on improving the lives of individuals through recreation, socialization and physical fitness and this lounge is a perfect example of why we put the resources into it.”

On Friday, Feb. 10, lounge regulars and volunteers helped Mike and Jackie celebrate their 70th Anniversary with cake and music.

 

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