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December 2003

"I do"

Secret Gardeners Rosemary Gould and Bill DePippa got married on October 11, 2003 at Barn Hill Care Center in Newton, New Jersey. The two decided to get married after participating in a mock wedding - just for kicks - in June. After a whirlwind romance, Bill said, "Why don't we make it real?" And Rosemary said "Yes."

This is their story ~

Rosemary Wilson lived in Stratford-on-Avon, England, and attended the National Institute of House Workers in London to learn to be a nanny. She worked in London "for Sirs and Ladies" before she came to America in 1963 when she was 22. Her first job in the States was as a nanny to four kids in Wayne. "When I came to America, it was a little unreal for me. I went to a very rich community. The house had a pool, nine bedrooms, six bathrooms. The only thing I'd ever seen about America was on TV - the people who wore the big Stetsons and drove the big cars. I became very quickly Americanized."

Rosemary spent her free time hopping the bus to Manhattan with two other English girls. She worked, learned to drive, married, gave birth to four kids, and was divorced - all in 14 years. She worked in social outreach, then went to Montclair State and got a degree to be a Head Start teacher. In '95, she took a job as a pastry chef for four years.

Rosemary began to experience the ravages of physical decline - diabetes, congestive heart failure, loss of sight in one eye, kidney failure. In '99 she went on dialysis just days before Christmas. Two heart attacks two days apart forced doctors to put a stent in her heart. She went back and forth between hospital and nursing home and finally ended up at Barn Hill. Last year she had complications with dialysis and woke up in the hospital - again. "My family thought I wasn't going to make it. I proved them wrong."

Rosemary likes it at Barn Hill. She's involved in everything - cooking, crafts, sing-a-longs, bingo, gardening. "You name it, I'm there."

She met Bill just as a friend, she says. "He used to hang around Millie. I joined their little group about a year ago."

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