ShareThis Page

'Happiness is being married to your best friend'

| Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, 6:27 p.m.
Dottie Heintzinger, 85, and husband, Art Heintzinger, 86, of Allison Park, poses for a portrait inside of Cumberland Woods Village retirement center in Allison Park, on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Dottie Heintzinger, 85, and husband, Art Heintzinger, 86, of Allison Park, poses for a portrait inside of Cumberland Woods Village retirement center in Allison Park, on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.
Two photographs of Dottie and Art Heintzinger, on their wedding day, are laid on a table inside of Cumberland Woods Village retirement center in Allison Park, on Feb. 10, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Two photographs of Dottie and Art Heintzinger, on their wedding day, are laid on a table inside of Cumberland Woods Village retirement center in Allison Park, on Feb. 10, 2017.

Her mom worried that Dottie might never get married. Dottie didn't.

She had friends, and she was happy. She didn't need better.

Then she met Art and discovered what better was.

“On a blind date,” says Dottie Heintzinger, 85, of Allison Park. “His sister and my friend set us up.”

“Was it the Holiday Inn in Green Tree?” Art Heintzinger, 86, asks.

“I think it was,” she says. “We had a couple drinks, we danced, and we just talked and talked.”

She looks off into the distance and smiles.

“That evening went by so fast,” she says.

“So fast,” Art says.

That evening was a cold winter night in 1975.

Art was divorced with two daughters. Dottie had never married (which caused her mother to worry). They were both in their 40s.

Art, seeing no reason to waste time, called her the next day and asked her out again.

“I was shocked,” she says. “I couldn't believe I met someone like him.”

They continued to date and found that the conversations never stopped being easy.

So easy, in fact, that Dottie suggested they get married.

“He wasn't upset,” she says with a shrug. “So I just kept planning it.”

They married Dec. 23, 1976, in West View.

They honeymooned in Florida and New Orleans.

They moved to Florida when Art was transferred for work and lived there for 30 years.

Then they moved back to Western Pennsylvania to retire in 2014.

Today, they live at Cumberland Woods, a retirement facility on the UPMC Passavant campus.

They recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.

On Tuesday, they will celebrate their 42nd Valentine's Day together.

Sometimes they wonder: What if we had met sooner?

They wonder.

But not for long.

Because as it is, they're happy with being proof of the old saying:

Good things come to those who wait.

“She's my friend,” Art says proudly.

“And he's mine,” Dottie says. “I have a magnet on our refrigerator that says, ‘Happiness is being married to your best friend.' I think that's true.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.