By April Basler / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hymie and Sukey Shemaria of Northeast Atlanta will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Saturday, Aug. 8.
Members of Congregation Or VeShalom, the Shemarias plan to spend their diamond anniversary with a family weekend celebration and a brunch. The couple, who met at Grady High School, married at the Jewish Progressive Club in 1955 at a ceremony officiated by both Rabbi Jacob Rothschild of The Temple and Rabbi Joseph Cohen of Or VeShalom.
Hymie and Sukey honeymooned in Daytona Beach, Fla., and go back to that spot every August to celebrate their anniversary, just the two of them. They will continue that tradition this year.
After 60 years, the Shemarias are still very much in love.
“She’s so good to me. She’s wonderful. She’s a lot of fun. We do a lot of things together. I love those things that we do together. I couldn’t imagine living without her,” Hymie said about his wife.
What keeps a marriage strong after so many years?
“I think we have good communication, and we don’t argue or fuss a lot and don’t stay mad if we do,” Sukey said. “We have respect for each other, and that’s important. Sixty years is a long time. It takes a lot of adjusting, and it’s always changing.”
Born in Baltimore in 1936, Marian Sue Hoffman — known all her life as Sukey — moved to Atlanta at age 4, and her family attended The Temple. After she married Hymie, Sukey was a homemaker and raised three daughters at Or VeShalom, serving two terms as Sisterhood president of the Sephardic synagogue even though she is Ashkenazi.
Sukey enjoys reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, making family photo albums and keeping up with correspondence.
“I write to a lot of people,” she said. “We’ve been friends for almost 50 years.” She has traded letter writing for email and writes to friends in Australia, England, Spain, Japan and Canada, as well as all over the United States.
Hymie, born in 1932, is a native of Atlanta, and his parents, who immigrated to America from Rhodes, were founding members of OVS. His father, Bennie, started a shoe repair shop in 1916 that later changed its focus to selling men’s shoes. Bennie’s Shoes is one of the best-known longtime Jewish family businesses in Atlanta.
Hymie owned the business with his two brothers, but he recently retired. The store is now owned by his nephews. Hymie still goes into the store three days a week to look over the books, write checks and perform other administrative duties.
While he has no plans to fully leave the business yet, Hymie said about his nephews: “One day I really need to teach them how to do the secretarial work so that I can retire full time and I won’t have to worry about the business at all.”
He’s enjoying his partial retirement, however. “It’s wonderful. I get to do what I want to do,” he said. “I play golf and can go on trips.”
The Shemarias love to travel. Their favorite vacation spots are Daytona Beach and Hilton Head Island, where the whole family goes every year for the Fourth of July.
Sukey and Hymie have traveled all over the United States and Europe as well as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Mexico, among other destinations. Beautiful photographs of their travels adorn the walls of the basement in the home they built together in Atlanta in 1957.
The Shemarias have three daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren. Their oldest grandchild was born on their anniversary, and their youngest grandchild was born on Sukey’s birthday.
“We’re very proud of them,” Sukey said of her children. “I think they have all turned out beyond our expectations.”