Mary Alice Kneisel and William Alan Kneisel went on their first date on June 6, 1958. At the time, William was 18 years old and Mary was 15. The two had previously met at a party, with a mutual friend arranging for them to meet, thinking that they would
make a good couple.
She was right. On Oct. 14, 1961, William and Mary were married, and have remained together for 51 years.
William grew up in Ozone Park, Queens. After a stint in the U.S Navy, he worked for American District Telegraph. He later worked at Trans World Airlines for more than 30 years as a ramp serviceman, until his retirement.
Mary grew up in Maspeth, Queens, and also worked for American District Telegraph. She later became a nurse.
The couple has two daughters, Carrie and Jeanne, and spent time living in Queens before moving as a family to East Meadow in 1976. William and Mary spent nearly 20 years in East Meadow before retiring and moving to Trinity, Florida. In 2012, Mary was diagnosed with cancer, and William has been by her side to care for her ever since.
The following was written by Carrie Petrocca-Aronson with the help of her sister Jeanne Ostrander as a Valentine’s Day tribute to their parents:
My sister Jeanne Ostrander and I remember growing up with my dad always out working to make money for our family. He sometimes worked two jobs and was not home that much. When he was home we always made sure we did things together. Mom stayed home to take care of my sister, who was born in 1963, and continued to do that until after I was born in 1970. Once I started school, she then started looking for a job. My parents would make sure they went to every one of my sports games. I was the son my dad never had. They were my number-one fan. They were always very loving and supportive and very family-oriented. We always would be together with family and often traveled with both sets of grandparents. We took vacations all around Europe, Spain, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Arizona, California, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Las Vegas.
Every September we traveled for two weeks. My father’s parents, Marge and George Kneisel, were married on June 30, 1935 and were married for 63 years until they both passed away in 1998.