Sep 09, 2008 Ami Olson Uncategorized
For Sylvia Digiacomo, 79, the idea of marriage was just never all that appealing.
“I saw so many bad marriages,” she said, remembering friends who seemed unhappily hitched, arguing and shouting at one another. “I just didn’t want to [be a part of that].”
This summer, though, that all changed.
She and Art Bissell, 88, of Geddes were married on June 17, in the Geddes Town Court by Justice Daniel Mathews III.
“This is my wife – no, my bride, Sylvia,” he introduced her just a few weeks later.
A strong foundation
Art has a saying, which he is proud to share: “Two lonelies make a happy.” Art spent five years living in the Jewish Home while his wife was ill, and found himself alone when she died. He met Sylvia about five years later.
“She was lonely, and I was lonely.”
But she was not bored, alone. “I always was active, I made a lot of trips, had a lot of friends.”
Both Art and Sylvia agree that the basis of their relationship is in their faith.
Sylvia cites the Jehovah’s Witness religion as a tool that gives them resources for settling arguments, or avoiding them altogether.
They each accepted their religion in their youth, and one Kingdom Hall meeting was even responsible for bringing them together.
A chance meeting
Sylvia remembers clearly how she met the man who would be her husband. After friends drove her to Kingdom Hall one night, she found herself without a ride home.
Another member of the congregation who knew Art asked him to drive Sylvia home, and he agreed.
“I was thinking, he’s married. They are all married,” Sylvia laughed. “Then, I noticed he didn’t have a ring. By the time he got to my apartment, he asked for my phone number.”
They began seeing each other, and Art said, “next thing I knew I was sitting next to her, then I had my arm around her.” It wasn’t long before others at Kingdom Hall meetings noticed there was something going on between the pair.
Neither of them remember exactly how long it was before Art popped the question – what was important, was that he did.
“It wasn’t long before we were making a serious commitment,” Art said. “I asked her, would you marry me? And she said yes. Just like that.”
A month later, they were wed. After nearly 80 years as a Digiacomo, Sylvia is still getting used to her married name.
“I guess I ought to go by Bissell, now,” she laughed. “I still can’t figure out what happened – I’m married?”
Art said simply, “we just seemed to fit together.”
Art’s eldest daughter and her husband, Valerie and Chester Kotyra, of Solvay, were witnesses at the wedding. Valerie said she was not really surprised when her father decided to remarry, she is glad they both found companionship.
“It is sweet, they both get along really well,” she said.
And for the honeymoon?
“When we are able to save up to go some place, we’ll go,” Art said. They have not yet decided where they will go. “I’ll let her make a choice.”