News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

A local love story: Meeting at the Eiffel Tower

Receiving recognition
Both Ray and Joyce Amato received recognition certificates for their years of service in the U.S. Military, presented to them by Representative Jerry Stern, at the Memorial Day service held recently at Christ United Methodist Church. (The Daily Herald/Virgie Werner)

Ray Amato and the former Joyce Merrick met when visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris while both were serving in the United States Air Force in France.
Ray recalled the event as “April in Paris – 1957” when he and his buddies spotted a group of nurses at the tower site.
There was a connection from the beginning for the couple as they hit it off. Ray toured Europe until his tour of duty overseas was done by September of ’57. After Joyce returned home the following February, they became engaged on Valentine’s Day. The couple married April 12, 1958 at St. Helen’s Catholic Church, Minneapolis, Minn., the bride’s hometown.
Mrs. Amato graduated from St. Catherine’s College, St. Paul, Minn., as a registered nurse. She served in the U.S.A.F. (non-commissioned) from 1952 through 1958 and eventually retired from the V.A. Hospital.
Amato served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1958. After serving his country, Amato went to work for Conrail. Years later he retired from Conrail as well as from the U.S. Army Reserves.
Community service became his next tour of duty. Amato has served as an Antis Township Supervisor for many years in addition to having served on the Bellwood-Antis School Board.
Ray and Joyce Amato are parents of four children, including: Karen, Kathleen, Mike and Joe. They also enjoy nine grandchildren.
Ray keeps busy with his hobbies that include gardening, hunting and wine making. Joyce keeps herself busy with gardening, sewing, reading and keeping up with those nine grandchildren.