Garden Gate’s Love Story Transcends Time, Distance & COVID as Couple Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Garden Gate’s Love Story Transcends Time, Distance & COVID as Couple Celebrates 70th Anniversary

August has always been a special month for Josephine Masci, a resident at The McGuire Group’s Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga, and her husband Edmund “Zeek.” After all, she was born on August 29, Zeek proposed on August 29, 1949, they exchanged vows on August 25, 1950 and the couple’s son, Theodore “Teddy,” was born on August 8, 1959.

This August is bigger than ever, as the Mascis mark their 70th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

Celebrating during the days of COVID makes things tricky, so Zeek, Teddy and the couple’s granddaughter Maria planned an anniversary “window visit” with Josephine at Garden Gate on August 25. The employees at the facility have a knack for arranging creative window visits and plan to have banners, decorations and non-alcoholic champagne ready for the big day!

The Masci’s is a love story that has spanned more than 7 decades and, at times, great distances. They met in 1947 when Josephine was 16 and worked as a waitress at the coffee shop in the Harvey and Carey drug store. “When I first saw her I said, that’s the girl I’m going to marry,” Zeek remarked. “I told all the guys in the pool hall to back off.” In fact, Zeek was so enamored with Josephine that when the couple went on a date a month later he told her, “you need blood to live and I need you to live.” He chuckles and says she still remembers him saying those words.

A year after they began dating, Zeek joined the Army. The couple was married in the Army chapel at Fort Lewis, just outside of Tacoma, WA.  Following that, Zeek was sent to Alaska to protect the airbase and served as a sharp shooter during the Korean War from 1948-1951. After being honorably discharged, he worked at JJ Pieri, a boot wholesaler on Clinton and Bailey in Buffalo.

The Mascis resided in the Lovejoy area of Buffalo for their entire married life and were members at St. Francis church in Buffalo.

Josephine has been a resident at Garden Gate Health Care Facility since 2018. She and Zeek talk to one another several times a day and are looking forward to their special celebration.

Garden Gate Health Care Facility provides subacute and outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, Journeys palliative care and respite/short-term care. The facility continuously receives 5-star ratings from the federal government and finished in the first quintile of NY State’s quality benchmarking pool for 6 out of 6 years. For more information visit                                 


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