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Alterizios celebrate 65 years of marriage

Philip and Maria Alterizio celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Oct. 4.

They grew up in New Jersey … Maria in Maplewood and Philip in Newark. Maria’s father owned a laundry business that serviced large hotels and restaurants in New Jersey.

Philip and Maria Alterizio dance at a wedding. (Photo courtesy of Allison Logan)

“When Dad came home from World War II, he took a job in my grandfather’s business,” daughter Sue Helms said. “Mom would frequently be in the shop, and Dad noticed her. It wasn’t love at first sight but rather, friendship.”

“My grandfather took a liking to my Dad. Their families attended the same church. Grandpa often invited Dad to family gatherings and vacations,” Helms said.

“That’s how Mom and Dad got together. Who knows … maybe Grandpa had a plan!” Helms said.

In 1947, Philip and Maria married in a simple ceremony in their local church. They took a brief honeymoon in Atlantic City.

“My parents both worked hard, full time, providing for my sister Diane Cardwell and me,” Helms said. Philip worked for Pam Am Airlines (then Eastern) in the freight division. Maria worked in accounting at Luby Chevrolet in Miami.

The Alterizios lived in Miami for 21 years, Charlotte, N.C. for 13 years and then moved to Madison 17 years ago.

Secrets to staying together are commitment, hard work, compassion, communication and compromising, Philip and Maria said. “Always talk through your problems. Don’t give up on the first argument.”

“The last two words in any conversation between husband and wife should be the husband saying, ‘Yes, dear,'” Philip advises young couples.

“Mom and Dad have shown us by their actions what love is and how important respect is,” Helms said.

The Alterizios’ daughter Diane Cardwell and husband John live in Georgia. Their son Philip Reid and wife Kim of Pennsylvania are parents of Ryan, 5.

Sue Helms and husband Larry live in Madison. Their daughter Allison Logan and husband Jeremy live in Texas. Daughter Kristen Helms and son Skyler, 4, are Madison residents.

Philip will turn 90 on Nov. 9. Maria is 87 years old.

The Alterizios are members of Asbury United Methodist Church. They walk at the mall four days weekly, enjoy playing with great-grandson Skyler and watching Auburn football … “when Auburn is winning,” Helms said.

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