High school sweethearts still going strong

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 7, 2014 

Joanne and Paul Limperio spent Tuesday afternoon assisting with bingo at the monthly Golden Agers meeting.

It’s part of a routine the couple, who have been married 51 years, established years ago. They do as many things together as possible.

“We spend a lot of time together. We’ll think maybe we should be doing something else away from each other, then ‘no’ and we pull each other back,” said Joanne Limperio while reaching in her husband’s direction and pretending to pull him closer.

The pair have been inseparable since high school where their 3-and-a-half-year age difference was no obstacle to the bond they would form.

“My husband was an orphan and I was attracted to him because I wanted to know more about that. Everybody I knew had family,” said Joanne Limperio, 69. “All of the sudden I meet this young man that didn’t.”

For Paul Limperio, 72, it was simpler.

“She was a beautiful woman, good personality,” he said. “We hit it off right away.”

The couple wed young and started a family just shy of three years into the marriage.

Paul Limperio soon found himself doing landscaping and butchering to support his wife and four daughters. He credits it with he and his wife not growing apart during their young adulthood.

“You start a family young, both work hard, keep busy all the time, you don’t have time for nothing else,” Paul Limperio said.

Joanne Limperio said she is a person of faith and has always thought that it was her job to support her husband as leader of the family.

“He held three jobs at one time and the kids and I would take him meals and go home and wait for him,” she said “The girls and I focused and centered our life around him. It was something we believed in.”

Joanne Limperio said many marriages end in divorce because of selfishness.

“People think of themselves,” she said. “One thing about him and I is we fight about who is going to please the other one. I always want to please him and he always wants to please me. That alone will keep things together.”

The Limperios established a tradition of not exchanging gifts on birthdays, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Paul Limperio said it started when they were raising their children and were more focused on making sure they did not do without. Joanne Limperio said anything they need or want they get for each other or themselves during the rest of the year.

The couple, who have also lived in Madera and Coarsegold, are hoping to take a trip to Portugal to get back to their cultural roots. But, they said, if it doesn’t happen they will still be satisfied.

“Simplicity is the best way to describe our marriage and our lifestyle – simplicity,” Joanne Limperio said.

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