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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

April 20, 2018  RSS feed
Senior Living

Text: T T T

Warren and Rebecca’s Love Story


Rebecca Simmons as a young woman Rebecca Simmons as a young woman Warren Simmons, a resident at the Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence, and Rebecca Simmons, a resident at the Samson Nursing Center, have a unique love story: They became engaged five minutes after they met.

It happened in 1948, when they were both 27 years old. Rebecca was visiting from Israel and staying with mutual friends of Warren’s in the Bronx, who suggested that the two of them meet.

When Warren arrived to pick up Rebecca for their date, they walked out onto the street together.

“I looked at her,” Warren said. “I said to her, I’d like to marry you.”

To Warren’s delight, Rebecca asked if he would like to marry her “yesterday or today.”

“I said, if I could marry you today I would!” Warren recalled.

The rest is history. The couple got a marriage license and married 10 days later in City Hall.


Rebecca and Warren pose for a photo with their son, Ronny. Rebecca and Warren pose for a photo with their son, Ronny. “We still laugh about it to this day,” Warren said. “Who gets engaged five minutes after they meet?”

For the next few years, they lived in New Jersey in a basement apartment. They later moved to New Orleans, where Rebecca’s sister lived, and started a family. They have a daughter, Anita, and a son, Ronny.

“We have had a wonderful life,” Warren said. “We were always happy. You couldn’t be happier.”

Warren, who worked at an oil company, said that he and Rebecca came up with an arrangement early in their relationship to keep them from arguing.

“Whenever there was an argument, one of us would go outside for a while. When we came back, we couldn’t remember what we were even fighting about,” Warren said.


Warren and Rebecca enjoy an event at the Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence together. Warren and Rebecca enjoy an event at the Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence together. The couple traveled to many places together throughout their marriage, including New Zealand and Morocco. Rebecca, who especially loves traveling and speaks English, Hebrew, French and Arabic, would sometimes take trips on her own—visiting more than 120 countries.

“She loved it,” Warren said. “She made friends with everybody she met.”

Almost a decade ago, Rebecca and Warren moved to St. Petersburg to retire. In July 2017, they made the decision to move to Menorah Manor together.

It is the best of both worlds; Warren lives at the Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence, and Rebecca lives at the Samson Nursing Center next door.

Because of their close distance,

Warren and Rebecca are able to visit each other every day.

“Whenever we want to see each other, we see each other,” Warren said.

At the Samson Nursing Center, Rebecca likes to work out in the rehabilitation gym and attend musical performances. At the Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence, Warren enjoys attending discussion groups and going on lunch outings.

The couple also enjoys a variety of activities and holiday celebrations together, including weekly Shabbat dinners.

This September, Rebecca and Warren will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

“We want to be together and help one another,” Warren said. “I would do anything in the world for her.”


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