The Coastal Star

Mike and Lillian Levine, Abbey Delray South

This couple counts 69 years — so far — of married life. They were friends for a decade before he popped the question, and they remain best of friends today.
They got hitched in 1943, just four days after Mike graduated officers school, and only a couple days after they first discussed the idea of marriage. But once the bit was between his teeth, Mike seized the first excuse for a wedding.
On the spur of the moment — when the couple discovered all planes were grounded for a planned trip from Chicago to New York — Mike suggested they get married instead.
“I didn’t do it; it was all him,” insists Lillian. So instead of driving home to wait for the weather to clear, the couple stored their bags, caught a cab and got a blood test on their way to City Hall.
“We stopped at Marshall Field’s, too, because I’d lost my gloves,” Lillian chimes in.
The newlyweds then made a switch from planes to trains, and ended up honeymooning in a private room on the 20th Century Limited from Chicago to New York City.
“Everyone said it wouldn’t last,” says Lillian. “I don’t exactly know why I said ‘yes’, but I’m awfully glad I did. He’s a keeper.”
The couple — she was an interior designer, he won sales awards at automotive dealerships — moved to Abbey Delray South in 2005. An Oriental flair is evident in much of the artwork and décor in the apartment, which features bright rugs and white sofas.
When Lillian turned 100 last March, no fewer than four parties commemorated the occasion, while Mike looked proudly on, telling any and everyone that he was five years, seven months and 10 days younger than his wife.
“I studied the actuarial tables,” he says wryly. “I knew women lived longer than men.”
So what’s kept them together through the decades?
“Glue!” quips Mike, as Lillian tackles the question head on.
“Well, he’s one of the brightest men I know,” she answers. “Plus, he is such a good husband. He does things for me that are absolutely fantastic. He makes the bed every morning, he does the dishes, he helps me whenever he can.”
Her praise spurs Mike to compliment Lillian as a great housekeeper, an imaginative cook and a great hostess.
“Plus, she’s a good listener and I talk a lot,” he continues. “And she’s good company! What more could you ask
for?”           

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