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Boston couples celebrate 50-plus years of marriage at annual Golden Anniversary Celebration

Joseph and Carol Barry Hill of Mission Hill dance during the 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

As a band played in the ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel, Milton Roye looked over at his wife of 65 years and revealed the simple secret that has kept the couple together for over half a century.

“Don’t go to bed mad at each other."

Milton and his wife Beverly, of Dorchester, were attending the 41st annual Golden Anniversary Celebration, where Boston couples celebrating 50-plus years of marriage danced, dined, and discussed how they reached the milestone. The room was filled with about 75 couples with a combined 3,521 years of marriage.

“God has been good to us,” Beverly Roye said. “[Milton] is very good to me and I try to be good to him. We’re lucky."


Married on Oct. 9, 1954, the Royes had the longest marriage of anyone in the room. But their advice rang true for the other couples, especially Judy and Thomas Tomenico.

After 55 years of marriage, Judy Tomenico said the key to a long, happy union includes “a lot of forgiveness on both sides."

"Try never to go to bed angry at each other,” she said. “Do your best to fix it and make it right again. I just think you have to be compassionate with each other and truly care about each other.”

Judy Tomenico said she was also celebrating a different type of relationship: her 66-year friendship with her best friend Phillis D’Amato.

Phillis D’Amato was also at the event with her husband of 58 years, Jerry. Phillis D’Amato said that to her, marriage is all about weathering the ups and downs.

“Everything’s not perfect all the time, but you enjoy the good times and you get through the bad times,” she said.

Since the first Golden Anniversary Celebration in 1979, almost 2,000 couples have been honored. This year’s event included a luncheon, professional photographs, live music, and a speech from Mayor Martin J. Walsh.


“I love this event because, in this room, there are people from all over the city of Boston. There are people that came from other countries to this city, and they met and got married here like my parents did," said Walsh, who is the son of Irish immigrants.

Edward and Thelma Burns dance at their table during the 50th Anniversary Celebration.Craig Walker/Globe Staff

Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.