~Shared by Tammy Compton

Big red hearts hanging in windows signal the upcoming holiday.

Who’s your Valentine?

For 85-year-old Florence Southerton of Honesdale, the answer is simple. It’s the man who’s faithfully been by her side for the past 60 years, her 91-year-old husband Bernie.

What makes Bernie the perfect Valentine?

“We’ve never had a fight. I know you can’t believe this, but we’ve never had a fight in 60 years. He’s just a good person in every way. I guess it takes two (to fight). And he never fights,” Florence said.

The two met when Bernie came out of the Service. “He was in the Army, a former POW (Prisoner of War),” Florence said. The World War II army veteran spent six months as a prisoner of war.

After the army, Bernie worked as an electrician at the Murray Company in Honesdale. He’s also well known for the 31-years he worked at the Honesdale Post Office delivering mail on his walking route.    

Florence and Bernie were wed on July 26, 1952 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Honesdale.

What’s the secret to 60 years of success?

“Faith has a lot to do with it. We’re both of the same faith, and we both practice our faith. And family has a lot to do with it. We have three children. They’re just all very close in relationship,” she said.

Along with their three children, they’re equally blessed with 12 grandchildren.

Florence Bernie Southerton

Asked what she’d like to share – heart to heart – with her Valentine this year, Florence said, “I said it all last winter. ‘I couldn’t live without you.’”

Last winter, Florence suffered with several stress fractures in her back. “I couldn’t move,” she said. On top of that, she was also dealing with shingles. “I couldn’t do anything on my own,” she said. But Bernie was there to help every step of the way.

Prayer also made a big difference, she said. Faith can move mountains. “Every week, we spend an hour at chapel,” she explained. It’s time spent praying “for others, for each other and being in the presence of Jesus Christ,” she said. “We’ve done that for 21 years.”

This Valentine’s Day Bernie is facing pre-op for knee replacement surgery. So, they’ll exchange Valentines and do what they do every day. “We’ll wait on each other, and be with each other, and enjoy each other,” she said.

They’ll also enjoy a special Valentine’s dinner at Woodloch Pines on Wednesday, February 13. It’s Woodloch’s Broadway-style theme show “Everything Italian” and mouth-watering menu that has caught their attention.

Wednesday’s theme dinner features the following festive Italian food: wedding soup, caesar salad, parmesan encrusted prime rib, pan seared Jail Island salmon, mediterranean chicken, pappardelle Bolognese, roasted redskin potatoes with garlic & rosemary, broccolini with oven-roasted tomatoes, artichoke & spinach flatbread & Italian bread, and tiramisu for dessert.

“My husband looked at (the flyer) and said, ‘Why don’t we go?’” Florence said.

“And I said, ‘We will,’” Florence replied. “We’ve always enjoyed it. It’s first class.”

“In the last five or six years, we’ve gone every year for my birthday in November. We like to be able to see every one of the shows. It’s just something where we can relax and enjoy. Good food, and most of all, everyone in the staff makes you feel special.”

“It’s all about love and family,” says Woodloch Special Events Agent Sharon Bedrosian. Call 1-800-966-3562, option 3 to make dinner reservations. The cost to attend is $29.99 per person, plus tax and gratuity.