When Joseph M. Calandrillo was about 8, his cousin was ill, and she asked him to run some errands. When he was done, she rewarded him with a quarter. He went back to the store and used the quarter to buy her a get-well card.
It was that gracious spirit that he carried into adulthood. His wife, Deborah, referred to him as 'the sweetest of husbands.'
Mr. Calandrillo, 49, a treaty accountant with Reinsurance Solutions International, part of Marsh & McLennan, met his wife-to-be 25 years ago at a restaurant in Brooklyn, the borough where they both grew up. He told his family when he got home that she was the one he was going to marry. She thought he was very nice but did not immediately leap to the same conclusion. But they went out the next night and the night after, and then every week.
'Everyone always said my husband and I had a marriage you didn't see,' she said. 'We were always laughing and having a good time. We were best buddies. Our marriage was our greatest success.'
Mrs. Calandrillo characterized them as a 'Green Acres' couple. She loved the city; he loved the country. They lived in Brooklyn for a while and then, five years ago, moved to Hawley, Pa. 'I had my turn, so it was his turn,' Mrs. Calandrillo said. 'And I grew to love the country.'