When Frank Castiglione proposed to Alice Durante on their second date in 1952, she waited two months to say yes.
The North Hills couple, who will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on Sept. 12, met in the Paramount Pictures offices in Times Square late in 1951.
After a few weeks of seeing each other around the office, Frank, who was head of the newsreel division, asked Alice from the contracts division to see a movie and have dinner with him for Valentine’s Day 1952.
A year and a half later, the couple were married.
“They still hold hands,” their daughter, Linda Scaturro, said. “They still speak very lovingly about each other. I know that if anything were to happen to either of them, the other one would be really lost. To have a partner for almost seven decades is an achievement that’s unheard of.”
When they met, Frank was a United States Navy veteran from World War II and had recently finished his business degree from City College of New York on a scholarship. He began pursuing his degree shortly after graduating from high school at 16 before joining the Navy and returning to college after he left in 1946.
The couple was married at St. Robert’s Church in Bayside and celebrated afterward at Forest Hills Gardens Hotel.
Their first apartment together was in Fresh Meadows, Alice said, and at first they were concerned about whether they would be able to pay the bills for the $74-a-month home.
When asked what advice he would give to young men and women getting married today, Frank said, “You have to try to be of equal minds and agree to disagree sometimes. You don’t want to carry any grudges.”
Alice said the key to their longstanding relationship is communication.
The couple has two children, Frank Peter Castiglione and Scaturro, as well as five grandchildren, all on Long Island.
Alice, who has always put a large emphasis on family, said the couple has been on 33 cruises to different locations around the world, including many trips to Italy.
Scaturro said her parents’ “loving and supportive relationship” helped inspire her and her younger brother as they grew into adults, molding their relationships with their spouses as well as their children.
“They’re loyal to each other,” Scaturro said. “That’s something that’s lacking in a lot of relationships. It’s easy to be there when things are going well, but it’s not so easy to be there when they aren’t. They showed an amazing loyalty and determination to stick together through thick and thin.”
Scaturro said the family still tries to have dinner together every Sunday because of the tradition her parents began decades ago of prioritizing family over work and social events.
“Through the ups and downs, they were always each other’s advocates,” Scaturro said. “They are always there for each other.”