Cape couple celebrates 50th wedding anniversary
Love filled the room at Juniper Village as a couple reminisced about how they met and married 50 years ago.
Richard and Jeanine Fisher tied the knot 50 years ago in Miami after love slowly blossomed from their initial meeting taking a dance class at the same studio when they were younger.
Richard, 81, said he went to a dance studio to learn how to dance and Jeanine, 77, took classes to brush up on her dance steps.
“I said check that,” Richard said to one of his friends after he first spotted Jeanine during the class, which captured Jeanine’s attention as she tried to track where the voice came from.
Although the first opportunity he had to dance with her did not play out the way he anticipated because another guy got to her first, the next time Richard was more successful. He said he raced over to Jeanine before another man could ask her to dance.
Unfortunately shortly after the couple danced for the first time, Richard said he walked out of her life.
The Fishers both went about their business and ran into each other by chance. Richard said he became a firefighter in Miami and was sitting outside of the fire station when Jeanine walked by with her father.
It turned out that her father lived extremely close to the fire station he worked at.
Richard said it started raining and he asked her to come inside, which lead to a nice conversation.
Since Jeanine moved to Miami from New England, Richard thought he would lay on the southern accent when asking her out.
“I’d be mighty proud to call on you ma’am,” he said. “She liked the sound of that and she said yes.”
Before getting married on Sept. 1, 1961, they worked together at the fire station when Jeanine became the secretary for the fire chief.
While working as a firefighter for 12 years in Miami, Richard also worked as a laborer before becoming a state of Florida general contractor.
Jeanine then applied for the secretary position with the billing department for a license engineer.
Richard said she worked everywhere he did for many years.
After working as a secretary for many years she decided to attend the University of Miami to obtain an education degree, so she could teach. She taught 5th, 6th and 7th grade in Miami for three years.
While teaching, Jeanine said it was important for her to learn all 40 of her students’ names at the beginning of the school year.
“They didn’t want to be called ‘hey you,'” she said.
After three years, Richard said he wanted her to stay home. He became spoiled as she had dinner and a drink ready for him when he got home.
As the years went on, the couple discovered that they enjoyed many of the same things. Jeanine said they went ballroom dancing once a week for many years.
Another common interest included learning how to fly.
“I was walking on air that day,” Richard said about when he flew solo for the first time on Friday the 13th in 1982. “It was beautiful.”
Jeanine, on the other hand, said she was terrified when she flew a two-passenger plane.
“To be frank, I would feel more comfortable in a commercial plane,” she said, although she flew solo for the first time Oct. 5, 1982.
The Fishers were faced with an emergency when a glider Jeanine was in crashed into a fence and left her unconscious. Richard said he picked her up and carried her to the car, so he could take her to the emergency room.
The story of what happened was repeated many times to Jeanine because she could not remember anything. Fortunately she made it through the traumatic experience.
Their love grew even more once both of them were faced with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Jeanine was diagnosed three years before Richard was.
Richard said they help each other out as much as they can. He said if one of them is hurting and they cannot move, the other will get whatever they need.
When asked how they made it to their 50th anniversary, Richard said it is about trying to be nice and kind to each other.
The Fishers moved to Juniper Village in November last year.