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Longboaters renew vows at town Valentine's Day ceremony

Ron Decicco, Jean Decicco, Lynn Pettigrew, Senior Federal Judge Jay Plager, Lynn and Gary Coffin
Ron Decicco, Jean Decicco, Lynn Pettigrew, Senior Federal Judge Jay Plager, Lynn and Gary Coffin
Photo by Petra Rivera
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Spending Valentine Day’s in paradise with her college sweetheart was already a dream for Carol Roscoe. 

What Carol didn’t know was what tricks John, her husband of 32 years, had in store for her. Their surprise pit stop on that special day happened to be Longboat Key’s first annual vow renewal ceremony. 

The free “Say I Do” event was held Feb. 14 in the Karon Family Pavilion in the Town Center. 

The Roscoes are in town for the winter to spend time with their son who just moved to the area. They were one of about 30 couples getting remarried. 

Each couple arrived early to take photos and receive their vow renewal certificate and flowers.

Carol and John Roscoe
Photo by Petra Rivera

Support Services Director Carolyn Brown organized the event. Mike Sales played music for the event. Couples enjoyed refreshments and mingled with each other after the ceremony.

Brown said everyone’s feedback makes her excited that this will become an annual event.

From Louisville, Kentucky, Don and Marjorie Burchett have been married for 58 years making them the longest married couple in the group. 

"When we got married, he told me he would make me laugh every day," said Marjorie. "He has really lived up to that promise with his dad jokes."

They met through Don’s brother who Majorie was calling one day and Don picked up the phone instead. Through their similar humor and great times, they are grateful to have been together for most of their lives. 

Anne Marie and Jeffrey Jannuzzo
Photo by Petra Rivera

The Burchetts received a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates along with the couple that has been married for the shortest time. Ron and Jean Decicco have been married for seven years

Maria and Jorge Rodriguez have been married for 52 years. They met in New York when they were working together and shared that it was love at first sight.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Are you married?’” said Maria. “I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Do you have children?’ I said, ‘No.’ Then out of the blue he asked me, ‘Do you want to be my wife?’ And I looked at him and then said, ‘Yes.’ Then, he called my dad in Colombia to ask for my hand and now I have three children and seven grandchildren.”

Senior Federal Judge Jay Plager officiated the ceremony and wrote vows specifically for the event. Couples swooned over his elegant way with words. Multiple couples asked for a copy of Plager’s unforgettable vows but he said he wants to save them to use for the following years of this new Longboat Key tradition.

Lynn Pettigrew and Senior Federal Judge Jay Plager
Photo by Petra Rivera

“On this Valentine's Day, we gather not just to celebrate love, but to honor its resilience,” said Plager in his speech. “You couples stand as a beacon of hope. You are the pioneers of perseverance, connoisseurs of the value of loving companionship in our world and role models of love. With this renewal, we affirm our journey anew in the presence of witnesses all in love and friendship.”



Petra Rivera

Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.

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