June 3, 2008


Seventy-nine years ago, Carl and Mary Pincheck said their wedding vows. I interviewed them in 1999, on their 70th anniversary. Since then, I’ve read Mary’s obituary and I’ve lost touch with Carl’s status.


At the time I met this couple, Mary was very ill, and Carl’s severe arthritis made it difficult for him to move. He had only recently hired help in order to care for Mary in his home. 


Mary’s illness was long term, starting with a series of strokes that hit her beginning April 1, 1950.


“When she sat on the couch and opened the paper, I saw her right hand go down. She tried to talk but nothing came out. It was a deadly stroke, but several days later she called me by name. Then she started to walk, talk.


Then she had a second stroke.


“She’s handicapped, but she has a mind. If only she could talk. It got so bad. I talk to her a lot, get no answers, sometimes a word or two.” 


Carl’s love for Mary, and his dedication for her, was apparent as he spoke about her while holding her hand. (click on photo:  ) 


“No one can say I didn’t take care of her. She took care of me when we got married. She’s the best mother and wife I could think,” he said. Mary must have understood—she reached out and patted his arm. 


Carl and Mary met in 1927. 


“Sitting on my porch, I saw my friend George going to the dance hall with two girls. I have a big mouth, so I called out, ‘Hey buddy, you need some help.’”


The couple got together that night and started dating. 


“I liked her, and I just fell for her and that’s it. One night, sitting in her living room smooching, I said, ‘Don’t you think we ought to get married?’ She said, ‘I don’t care.’”


Their wedding occurred February 6, 1929 in front of what Carl said was “more than a bushel of people—200-250. It had rain, show, blowing wind and toward evening, nice, sunny weather.”


The couple began their married life with nothing, not even furniture. 


“Luck was against us. The family stuck together. I have a wonderful, wonderful family.” 


The worst experience of Carl’s life was the birth of his youngest daughter. 


“She came while we waited for the doctor. Her cord was wrapped around her neck. Mary said she was going to die. I don’t remember what I did. I must have done OK. Janet’s 65 years old now.”


Carl took a factory job in Ohio after the coalmines he worked in in Fayette County closed. 


“We separated for 18 months so Janet could get her high school degree. I came home on weekends.”


When the family reunited in Ohio, they kept their Republic, PA, home, expecting to return to Pennsylvania in the future. 


“Pretty near my whole life with her was happy,” said Carl. “Now, I can’t say it’s a bad life. I can’t say it’s a good life. We’re here together.”


On their 70th anniversary, then Catholic Bishop Anthony G. Bosco sent them a greeting that said “May the poet’s words be fulfilled in you, ‘Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.’” The couple was honored at a special Mass on February 6, 1999, at the church they were married in, Madonna of Czestochowa Church in Cardale, PA. 


I felt privileged to have met this couple, and honored to have written their story. As Carl told me, “If everybody does like I did, they’ll come together. We were put together as one. We lived it and still do. Be good to one another, believe in one another.”


Thank you for visiting my writing site. I welcome comments from my readers. Carolyn


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  1. Wow, what a treasure to have found this. Carl Pincheck is my great uncle, the brother of my late grandfather, Henry Penzcak (the actual/original spelling of the family surname). We visited Carl and Mary when my grandmother died in 1992. It was amazing to witness their love and life. It was, in fact, an amazing childhood spent visiting my grandparents in the small town of Republic and even smaller burough of Cardale. I’m going to print this interview for my scrapbook. I would love to know how you came to interview my great uncle.
    ~Toni Harlow~

    Comment by toni — December 27, 2008 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  2. […] At the tail-end of 70 years of marriage a husband became his wife’s caregiver. You can see the love he had for her even though she could no longer respond. Read SEVENTY YEARS OF LOVE […]

    Pingback by Rethink Church Lenten Photos: Week 3 | Carolyn's Online Magazine — March 5, 2015 @ 1:42 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been privileged to attend several 50th wedding anniversary receptions and even a few 60th ones – but none for 70 !!

    Comment by Grace ( & Fred) Wells — March 6, 2015 @ 6:00 am | Reply

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