Eu­clid cou­ple mar­ried for 70-plus years share tips for a long and happy mar­riage

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Kristi Garabrandt kgarabrandt@news-her­ @Kris­ti_G_1223 on Twit­ter

“Al­ways tell each other the truth, no mat­ter what is go­ing on in your life, tell your part­ner the truth.” — Robert Han­cov­sky

Robert Han­cov­sky knew he was go­ing to marry his wife af­ter their first date.

Robert was just out of the ser­vice in 1946 when he first met Eileen on a blind date. He re­calls that it was the Satur­day af­ter Christ­mas and it had been ar­ranged by his cousin whose girl­friend worked with Eileen.

“I came out of the ser­vice and one month af­ter I was out, the first and only date I had was her (Eileen), and af­ter I went with out her, when I come home that night my old­est brother said how was your date,” Robert said. “I said, ‘I’m go­ing to marry that girl.’ And he said, ‘You’re full of crap’.”

Robert, now 91, then de­scribed how ex­cited he was and that he couldn’t wait for the next

day to give her a call.

Their first date, the now 93-year-old Eileen re­called, was to a hockey game and din­ner. Eileen, who had never been to a hockey game, de­cided she didn’t like the sport.

In June 1947, Robert asked her to marry him. She didn’t an­swer him right away. She re­calls she thought it over and three weeks later agree to marry him.

“I went out the fol­low­ing week and got an en­gage­ment ring and we be­came en­gaged. Then I said we should start mak­ing plans,” Robert said. “She’s a beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful girl and I didn’t want to lose her. I didn’t want no­body to steal her from me.”

Robert then looked to­ward Eileen and told her she is still beau­ti­ful.

The cou­ple mar­ried Nov. 29, 1947, at St. Wen­delin Catholic Church on Cleve­land’s west side.

The first of their four chil­dren was born in 1950 and in 1951 they moved to Eu­clid and bought a home where they still re­side.

Af­ter 70 years of mar­riage they have seen plenty of good and bad times.

Ac­cord­ing to Robert, when Eileen got preg­nant with their first child and quit her job he told her she would never work again.

“I told her I’m your hus­band, the chil­dren are both of ours, I will sup­port you,” he said. “I worked two and three jobs many times be­cause, some times were hard... She stayed home and took care of the kids. We have four chil­dren and she had five mis­car­riages.”

When asked to share some things they did to stay mar­ried for over 70 years, Robert laughed and re­sponded “Well, the first thing is liv­ing that long.”

Eileen said although they of­ten dis­agree they never had a ma­jor ar­gu­ment.

“We al­ways tell each other those three fa­mous lit­tle words many times dur­ing the day — ‘I love you,’ ” Robert said.

Eileen lov­ingly de­scribed how the cou­ple walks around with the help of their walk­ers through the house and kiss each other in pass­ing.

“It’s those lit­tle things, like his bare head,” she said. “I’m al­ways kiss­ing it, I don’t know why.”

Robert re­sponded by say­ing “we just love each other.”

When asked about re­solv­ing dis­agree­ments, they both agreed the sim­plest so­lu­tion for them is to not stay mad about it.

“My thing is if we are ar­gu­ing and I think I’m right about ev­ery­thing, it doesn’t make any dif­fer­ence whether I’m right or not,” Robert said. “In our life­time, it just don’t make no dif­fer­ence, just for­get about it and just don’t con­tinue to ar­gue.”

“I know with me, if we have a dis­agree­ment or an ar­gu­ment I can’t stay mad,” Eileen said. “I get up­set, I get mad and don’t talk to him for a while but, then af­ter a while I for­get all about it.”

“It’s a lot of fun mak­ing up,” Robert said laugh­ing.

When asked what ad­vice they had to give to other cou­ples, Eileen ad­vises that when “you have a dis­agree­ment, you have to try to talk it out to make sure it doesn’t fes­ter.

“I think if you don’t talk it out or for­get about it, it will fes­ter and be even worse and then some­times it can cause a real big ar­gu­ment and that is what you don’t want,” she said.

Robert be­lieves that since you are mak­ing a com­mit­ment for life when you marry, to make sure you mean it.

Robert who was a man­ager at a tool and die shop for 30 years also hinted work should be left at work and not brought home.

They agreed to al­ways be kind and care for each other. A daugh­ter lives with them, and Eileen said if it wasn’t for her they would prob­a­bly be in a nurs­ing home by now.

“We have our ups and downs and have both fallen,” she said.

Robert laughed and in­ter­rupted Eileen to tell her no mat­ter how old he gets he still keeps fall­ing for her.

Eileen re­cently had a heart valve re­place­ment and Robert en­dured 42 ra­di­a­tion treat­ments for pros­trate can­cer.

“We never had any­one in to take care of us when we were sick, other than our daugh­ter,” Eileen said. “We just took care of each other.”

Robert said some of the best ad­vice he can give is to never keep se­crets from each other.

“Al­ways tell each other the truth, no mat­ter what is go­ing on in your life, tell your part­ner the truth.”

Eileen ad­vises never go to bed an­gry and al­ways be sure to kiss good each other good night.

“Al­ways say ‘I love you,’ ” Robert and Eileen said.


Robert, 91, and Eileen, 93, Han­cov­sky of Eu­clid, have been mar­ried for over 70 years.

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