Queens couples reflect on decades of happiness


Neither Mel nor Judy Gossett knew that a friend’s small party would bring them together, but the moment they met, they knew it would be forever.

“It was a one chance meeting,” said Judy. “Had we not met that night, we never would have met. We clicked right away, we knew right away.”

Judy’s best friend, who she is still close with today, hosted a party and invited “some college guys,” Mel included.

“In he walked, and I looked at him, and I said, ‘Oh, he’s cute,’” said Judy.

Mel echoed his wife’s sentiment recalling, “I said to myself, ‘That’s a cute little girl.’”

Mel wrote Judy’s phone number down on a napkin, which he has saved to this day, and after three months of keeping in touch, they were engaged to be married.

Judy went to Boston to finish school, and Mel finished optometry school at Columbia. Then, the two got married, and “life took over.”

They have been married for 56 years; have three children and six grandchildren. “We’re just very happy, and we hope that we have many more years,” said Judy.


Hy and Debby Newman have spent their 70 years together all over the world – from here in the States, to Israel, to Turkey, the adventures never stopped. Their love started at a summer camp in Highland Mills when the two were just teenagers, spending camp casino nights together.

“We did everything together,” recalled Debby.

“We really fell in love,” Hy responded.

After the summer, Hy went to Penn State, and Debby went to California. The two didn’t see each other for a year, but that didn’t stop their romance from growing.

“I told him, ‘Marry me, or I’m going to marry someone else,’” laughed Debby.
From then, the two hit the ground running. Hy studied in Boston to become a veterinarian, and Debby enrolled in nursing school, also in Boston, so she could be close to Hy.

After finishing school, they moved to Virginia, then to Texas when Hy was drafted into the Army, then back to Virginia once he was discharged. Hy started his own veterinary practice, and they continued to raise their daughter.

When the war was over, Hy and Debby, Zionists, went to Israel for a time to help fugitives from internment camps start their lives over. Hy sold his practice, and the two dedicated themselves to the program in Israel.

While they weren’t working, Debby and Hy greatly enjoyed sailing. They also spent a great deal of time in the air, flying with Hy’s pilot license. Hy was also active in Israel’s opera.

“We had such a life,” said Debby. “We were involved with so many things.”

Now, things have slowed down, and the two do “a whole lot of nothing, but we do it together,” according to Debby. After all of these years, their love has not faded, and they have a wonderful life to look back on.


Jack and Gloria Lyons have been married 65 years, but it still feels like they yesterday when they were paying just five cents to go bowling.

The two met one fateful night, when Gloria’s then-fiancé brought her along on a bowling trip with his buddies. At the lanes, Gloria and Jack were introduced.

“The truth is – he was so different from anybody I had ever met,” admitted Gloria. “I went home that night, and I told my mom that was the man I was going to marry.”

From there, Gloria broke it off with her beau, and embarked on a lifelong romance with Jack.

“We’ve been partners in everything since we met,” said Jack.

The two braved years of night schooling, and Jack became a lawyer while Gloria stayed home to care for their two children. Jack recalled nights where he would begin his day at 7 a.m., and not return until 11 p.m. after classes.

“Gloria would always have a hot dinner waiting,” he said with a smile. “She was always great.”

As Jack’s career progressed, traveling became very frequent, and Gloria would typically accompany him. Jack took care of business, and Gloria took care of entertaining guests and clients.

“She was beautiful and charming,” said Jack. “She’s friendly, and it sort of opened me up.”

After many years of happiness, they still love to do things together. They love music, dancing as much as possible, good food and great literature.

“Today, we enjoy more sedentary things,” said Gloria. “We manage to enjoy ourselves.”

This Valentine’s Day, they plan on enjoying a nice outing with family.




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