While every love story is beautiful, there are some that truly take our breath away.
Such was the love shared between Marino and Benedetta Zazzera of Carbondale, Pennsylvania.
The pair had been married for 67 years and had built a beautiful life together.
Marino was a chef and Benedetta was a baker. Together, they opened the Ben-Mar Restaurant in Carbondale in 1963.
“It’s still a restaurant,” said one of the couple’s daughters, Betsy Keating. “My brother manages it now. He runs it.”
The pair also worked hard fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
“So proud of dad,” Betsy said. “He established a benefit for St. Jude, and they shared that devotion together and he’s pretty well known for that.”
When Benedetta began to experience breathing problems about a year and a half ago, she was checked into Sacred Heart Hospice so she could be cared for.
Mary Fabritious, who was the couple’s social worker at Sacred Heart, said they hated separating the couple and were able to find a way to bring Marino there so he could be with his wife.
“We knew that her husband was at home, and we didn’t want to separate them, but we also found criteria that her husband met to be admitted to the inpatient unit as well,” she said.
Last week, Marino quietly passed away at the age of 91, his beloved wife by his side.
But as the family began to mourn his passing, something happened that left them all stunned.
Just 40 hours later, Benedetta joined her husband, passing away at the age of 89.
Their family is heartbroken to lose both of them so close together, but say they know the couple is finally at peace.
“I just say there’s comfort amidst the sorrow,” Betsy said. “There truly is. They suffered for a long time.”
“There’s a great joy and comfort in knowing but, moreover, theirs is a true love story,” said their other daughter, Mary Theresa Zazzera.
Fabritious said she is glad the couple was able to be together when they passed.
“I think both of them were at peace in their passing,” she said.
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