Viera couple met, fell in love in Italy


Eveline and John England will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary this year. The Viera couple says marriage is all about putting each other first. Photo by Jeff Thompson

He was from Rhode Island. She was from Germany. Their jobs serendipitously took them both to Brindisi, Italy in 1971.

“When we met, it just hit us right then and there,” Eveline England said. Eveline and John England were married in Colorado Springs in 1974.

She was working as a flight attendant for a German airline and John England was there for his sales job in electronics. Eveline’s home airport was in Rome — some 350 miles away from where John was living. Before the days of Internet access and cell phones, Eveline and John talked on the phone when there was distance between them and made the effort to see each other in person as often as they could.

“I was a flight attendant so I got cheaper tickets. He had a Porsche so he would drive to come see me,” she said.

That effort paid off. On Sept. 13, the couple will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary. Many cities, a few countries and one son later, the couple still find the most joy in the simple things. 

“We don’t go out to eat much. We like to just cook at home and eat our meals together,” John England said. Asian and, of course, Italian foods are favorites. 

“Even though my son isn’t here, we still eat together,” Eveline said. “It’s so important to make that time for family and put them first.”

Both still work full-time primarily from home offices — something they’ve done nearly their whole marriage. They enjoy traveling to North Carolina to go hiking and antique shopping. Locally, they work out together at Pro-Health Viera and attend Prince of Peace Church. Their son Scott, now 29, lives in Melbourne.

“It is such a big step to get married. You have to change your priorities. You need to be asking what can we do together and how are we going to get there?” John said.

Five years ago, the couple decided to recommit their lives to each other and renewed their vows at Church at Viera. When it comes to the secret to their marriage’s longevity, they both agree it is about choosing each other over and over again.

 “You have to get married forever. Don’t ever go into a marriage thinking that you’ll just leave if something goes wrong,” Eveline said. “You should also be doing things together as a family and chasing your shared interests.”

As for what the future holds, they both hope it is just more of the same.

“Family first. That’s the most important. Everything else comes second,” Eveline said.