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Lasting Love

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  • | 4:00 a.m. June 20, 2013
  • Sarasota
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David and Molly


Married: June 21, 1953
Number of Children: 3
Number of Grandchildren: 3
Residence in Sarasota: Palm-Aire

Mollie Lafferman met her husband, David, when she was 6 years old. She was visiting her cousin, Ceva Setlen, in Baltimore from High Point, N.C.

“I was just a little girl and in everyone’s way,” Mollie says. David was 15 years old and lived down the street from Mollie’s cousin. “We didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to her, ” says David. But, years later, Mollie happened to catch more than just David’s eye. After he returned from the United States Army Air Corps and Mollie finished college, Setlen set them up on a date.

“We went out with some of his friends and he was very easy to be with and always has been,” Mollie says.

The couple dated for two years before David popped the question.

“He stopped at a red light, handed me a box with a ring in it and asked me, ‘What do you think?’” Mollie recalls. “I said, ‘I love it,’ and never gave it back to him.”

The couple has raised three children, including their mentally-challenged daughter, Beth, who is now 52.

“She brought us closer together because of the needs she had,” Mollie says. According to David, a successful marriage needs to be worked on, it doesn’t just fall into place.

“Love is great, but commitment is just as important,” says David.

Marvin and Frances


Married: June 7, 1958
Number of Children: 2
Number of Grandchildren: 4
Residence in
Sarasota: Stoneybrook

Marvin and Frances Friedman lived one block away from each other in Maryland, where they grew up. Marvin would take the bus in one direction on his way to work, and Frances would go the opposite way on her way to high school. They met one night on the bleachers during a chilly football game. Marvin sat behind Frances at the game.

“I said I was cold and he gave me his gloves, so I thought he was the greatest,” Frances says. After a number of dates and about two years of dating Marvin proposed to Frances on her doorstep. She said yes.

“We went into the house and told my parents and they were a little shell-shocked because I was young,” Frances says.
Marvin says he wouldn’t have done anything differently and is happy he married his best friend.

When asked what has kept them going for 55 years. Marvin says,
“I think honesty and being able to discuss things with each other is very important.”

Dr. Bertram and Renee


Married: June 23, 1958
Number of Children: 3
Number of Grandchildren: 4
Residence in Sarasota: The Meadows

Every morning when Dr. Bertram Gold wakes up and every night before he drifts off to sleep, he tells his wife, Renee, that he loves her. The Golds joke and finish each other’s sentences in an energetic exchange that makes everyone around them smile. They met in 1954, at a synagogue, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Who could resist, he was so cute,” Renee says. Bertram was attracted to Renee’s intelligence, sense of humor and her beauty. He didn’t actually ask Renee to marry him; instead he left a box with a ring on the table after dinner.

“We had never even talked about marriage,” Renee says. “‘It’s a big one,’ is what came out of my mouth, and then I said ‘yes.’”

The couple agrees that mutual respect has played a large role in keeping their marriage strong. Fifteen years ago, Bertram was diagnosed with cancer. He says, although the doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital saved his life, “What kept me alive was my love for her and desire to spend the rest of my life with her.”


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