Stephanie Siess was 15 when she met 19-year-old Bruce Gershon, a friend of her older brother’s, at a Kansas City country club. It was 1974, and the two just exchanged pleasantries.
Several years later, when Stephanie was a college freshman, she ran into Bruce at a disco. He asked her to dance, but Stephanie was dating someone and politely declined.
Then one day when Stephanie was 21, she was lying in the sun at the country club and noticed Bruce doing flips off the high dive. After his diving spree, Bruce sauntered over, and they had a brief chat. When he asked her for a date, she agreed.
Bruce: “She was beautiful, and I was enamored with her. But I wasn’t sure if she liked me.”
Stephanie: “He was good-looking and charming, with a dynamic personality.”
The unfolding: They had Chinese food on their first date. Stephanie was shy, and Bruce had to work hard to make conversation.
A week later they went for Italian food with a lot of Bruce’s friends. Stephanie felt out of place, and on the way home she said, “I don’t know if this is going to work.”
He asked her to give it another chance. Stephanie agreed, and they continued dating.
As they got to know one another better, their connection deepened, and they fell in love. Soon Stephanie thought, “I’d like to be with Bruce for the rest of my life.”
Bruce felt the same way. After a year of dating, they began talking about marriage.
The proposal and wedding: One evening at his house, Bruce got down on one knee and asked Stephanie to marry him. Delighted, she told him yes.
They were married March 28, 1982, in Kansas City.
Favorite shared activities and hobbies: They love entertaining, traveling, attending sports events and being with family.
Careers and family: Bruce and Stephanie co-own Arrow Fabricare, a specialty dry cleaner. He is president and CEO; she is human resources coordinator. They live in Overland Park, and have two children and two grandchildren.
What keeps their relationship strong: “Through thick and thin, we are there for each other,” Stephanie says. Working together has also expanded and strengthened their relationship.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Bruce: “Stephanie is warm, genuine and loving. She’s an incredible mother and has created a caring and stable home. She also has the incredible gift of being able to laugh at herself.”
Stephanie: “Bruce is smart and works so hard to make a good life for us. He’s also generous, thoughtful and caring. Plus, he can fix anything.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.