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Bliss has sequel for couple in their 80s

Tony Sorrentino 88 Marilyn West Sorrentino 82 got married eight months ago.  |  Jaime Angio~For Sun-Times Media

Tony Sorrentino, 88, and Marilyn West Sorrentino, 82, got married eight months ago. | Jaime Angio~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 25, 2014 6:07AM



The couple call it divine intervention. It came in the form of mostaccioli, salad, bread, and brownies for dessert.

This is how two people who never envisioned marrying again found love.

Picture it: May 2012.

“She brought me food,” 88-year-old Tony Sorrentino said.

Now, “she” is Sorrentino’s bride of eight months, 82-year-old Marilyn West Sorrentino.

The couple lived across the street from each other for 19 years in the Hunt Club condominium community in Frankfort, and both attend St. Anthony Catholic Church in Frankfort.

When Sorrentino’s wife of 62 years, Anne, died, Marilyn ­— widowed for 21/2 years at the time — brought over a complete meal for Tony, who used to play golf with her husband, Donald.

Sorrentino had received a bevy of fruit and such from others, but the mostaccioli was in a dish, and the salad in a bowl, so he walked across the street to return them.

“I thanked her for being so gracious, and I enjoyed speaking with her,” he said. “And she enjoyed listening to what I had to say. I saw her later on, a number of weeks after that, and before you knew it we were dating.”

Sorrentino, a retired engineer, and Marilyn, a retired executive secretary, enjoyed dinners and hiking together at Starved Rock State Park during their courtship.

“One thing we used to do while we were dating, is one day a week I would cook dinner and we would enjoy dinner at my house,” he said. “She would invite me over for two days at her house, and we have regular meals. You sit and have dialogue with each other, and you find out what you like and what you don’t like.”

“It’s fun to learn more about each other,” Marilyn said. “I wished for that companionship and love, and it happened.”

“It was spontaneity,” he said. “I liked her very much and she was such a pleasant person to be with, and I’m glad to be with her until they decide to pull the plug on us.”

The couple were engaged by November 2012 and married last June 8, on Sorrentino’s 88th birthday.

They were wed at St. Anthony, where Sorrentino serves as an usher, and they had their wedding reception at Scrementi’s Italian Grill in Mokena.

The bride and groom honeymooned for three weeks in Hawaii, and during that time, Marilyn’s condo was sold. She moved in with Tony, and by the end of July, his condo also sold. They didn’t have to look for a place to live; the couple already knew of Smith Crossing in Orland Park, a continuing care retirement community that offers what it calls a “no-fuss” lifestyle. Marilyn had made plans to move there with her husband before he died.

The Sorrentinos moved into the independent living section of Smith Crossing last summer and are adjusting to life well and living in wedded bliss.

“The first couple of months trying to get settled and all took a lot and into a new kind of life,” Tony said. “It is totally different, but I think we have both done pretty well and are enjoying it.”

“There is so much to do here, there are so many nice people,” Marilyn said. “The people are just wonderful. The people who work here, the people you meet, I can’t say enough.”

Marilyn happily admits that her groom pampers her constantly.

“He is always first in the kitchen and makes breakfast, and I can’t get ahead in doing things. He always has it done before I get to it,” she said.

The couple also enjoy the recreational lifestyle Smith Crossing has to offer.

“There is everything you could want to do here, watercolor classes and all kinds of activities to take part in,” Marilyn said.

“I found a fella who likes playing pool, so we go down and play pool once or twice a week,” Tony said.

Sometimes they have dinner in their home apartment, and sometimes they’ll go Smith Crossing’s restaurant, the Bistro, to dine.

“The food is delicious; it’s like going out for dinner every day,” Marilyn said.

They see familiar faces in the Smith Crossing community, too.

“We have met a number of people that we knew (previously), and they are here too,” Tony said.

Finding love the second time around and living life to the fullest is heaven for the Sorrentinos. Combined, the couple have 11 grandchildren and 120 years of marriage experience.

“I think that marriage is precious,” Marilyn said. “We need to be understanding of one another whatever differences we have; we have to count those as who we are and why we love each other.”

“Let the other person be themselves. Let them be comfortable,” Tony said. “And you are comfortable yourself and enjoying it together and where you have to compromise. We’re both of the same temperament and nature, and we find it very, very pleasing to be with each other.”

“I just think we are very, very fortunate. We both had wonderful parents and good lives,” she said.

The Sorrentinos look forward to more traveling and savoring every minute of their new life together.

“I think he is wonderful,” Marilyn said.

And Tony is pampered, too.

“She allows me to have my man cave next door,” he said.



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