The Gollin’s Story: Happily married for 70+ years

Dick and Rita Gollin met their freshman year of college in English class. As they were both academics with a keen interest in English literature, it became clear they had a great deal in common. As Dick puts it, “other loves are made in heaven; ours was made in our registrar’s office.” Luckily for Dick, Rita made the first move and asked him if he would like to attend a Halloween party with her and some friends. He noted that because “she was such a clever, beautiful girl,” he would not have had the nerve to ask her out himself.

By the time graduation came around, they had become joint editors of the school’s literary magazine.  Soon after starting graduate school together, they decided to marry. Originally they had planned on having the wedding that summer but one day amongst friends decided that they could not wait any longer and were set to be wed that Sunday with just four days’ notice. So armed with phones instead of invitations, they quickly made the arrangements and notified loved ones of their special day. The day went off without a hitch and almost everyone was able to attend the last minute ceremony.

The couple continued with school and took advantage of every break they got, even hitchhiking their way through Europe together, staying in hostels and experiencing the world. Once they had obtained their degrees, both began their career as college English Literature professors and started their family, having two sons and a daughter. Both spent over 35 years teaching locally, Dick at the University of Rochester and Rita at SUNY Geneseo where she wrote 5 books, establishing herself as a Distinguished Professor. Their love for literature was passed along to their children as one became an editor and two ended up writing books of their own.

Speaking with the two, it is clear that similar interests attract and can lead to a lifetime of happiness. In the simplest terms, Dick and Rita’s advice was to simply care and hope you are lucky enough to find someone that does the same. Rita also notes that laughing at each other’s jokes does not hurt. The love that the two share is evident, as even as they were quarantined together it was obvious that they adore each other.

Today, Dick and Rita live at Brickstone by St. John’s where they have resided happily for the last 10 years and were two of the first residents to move to the community when it was built. They enjoy reading, watching television, and socializing safely when possible with the other residents around them. The couple is looking forward to going to concerts, taking more walks, and socializing post-pandemic.

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