Alexander Toczko (95) and his wife Jeannette Toczko (96) married in 1940, and after almost 75 years of marriage, one of their deepest wishes came true.
The couple first started dating at the age of 8 and spent a lifetime together. Both were born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1919 to Polish immigrants. Alexander was the youngest of eight siblings; Jeannette was the second youngest of nine.
Alexander carried in his wallet a photograph of Jeannette, dressed for their first communion. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned home safely to his young family and began a career in advertising, which led him to a successful career in New York City.
According to their obituary, the couple was “always up for an adventure and eager to seek new opportunities and a warmer climate.” It led them to move their family to San Diego in 1971 with their youngest daughter, where Alexander established his own photography and fashion company. Jeannette served as his chief stylist.
One of Alexander’s passions was golf, which he played nearly every day until he broke his hip last fall. His health quickly declined, but Jeannette stood by his side.
Jeannette left her legacy as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. In her youth, she wasn’t afraid to dive off bridges to swim in the Stamford harbor. As the family describes her, she was “elegant, steadfast and sincere, she was the heart of the family.”
As Alexander’s health declined, both he and Jeannette made one wish together, which they’d held for as long as their marriage – that they die in each other’s arms.
Hospice installed a bed in their home and set it next to Jeannette’s. As Alexander’s health faded, so did Jeannette’s. Alexander died first, on June 17, with his wife by his side; a day later, Jeannette passed.
“And he died in her arms, which is exactly what he wanted,” recalled their daughter Aimee Toczko-Cushman. “I went in there and told my mother he was gone; she hugged him and she said, ‘See, this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I’ll be there soon.’”
They entered the pearly gates together. Please pray for their family in their time of grief and remembrance.