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Parsippany Valentine's Day Spotlight Couple: Bob & Julie Peterson

In honor of the holiday of love, we're chatting about lasting love with Parsippany's most interesting couples.

Parsippany has its fair share of prominent lovebirds, but this couple stands out among the rest, especially as we anticipate Valentine’s Day.

In this installment of Parsippany Couple Spotlight, we'll find out what makes Robert and Julia Peterson so sweet.

The Lovebirds:

Julia Dutton Peterson, retired teacher and arts administrator, historic preservation advocate, vice chair of Parsippany Democratic Committee

Robert Peterson, retired psychologist and community volunteer

So, how did you lovebirds meet?

 At Project Follow Through (an anti-poverty program in the city school system) in Rochester, N.Y. 

How long have you been together?

40 years married, 1 year dating before that

What’s the secret to a successful and happy relationship?

Communication, respect for the other person, enjoying activities together, not taking things for granted.

What famous couple do you emulate?

We actually agree that we do not strive to emulate any famous couple. For humor, maybe a composite of Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen," plus Sarah and William Livingston, plus Barbara and Dick Gearhart, neighbors in Rochester, N.Y., both of them on their second marriage. They let us get married in their back yard, we took care of their garden for three months. They loved art and music and hiking, and did many interesting things together.

Why did you settle in Parsippany, and how long have you lived here?

Julie is a native and Parsippany High School grad, left for college and visited many times each year. Bob has been visiting since 1971. We moved back in 2004 to take care of our 1752 house. We have met and gotten to know wonderful friends here and are involved with local issues and organizations. It is great to be near the cultural scene in New York City, easily accessible by Lakeland Bus.

What’s your favorite romantic night out in Parsippany and why?

We also agree that romantic dinners may be the stuff of sitcoms and first dates. We enjoy sitting in front of our fireplace with a glass of wine and a meal cooked by our daughter,  our son or our daughter-in-law (or all three).  Taking the Lakeland bus to New York City for a concert.  Eating out in Parsippany... The most romantic probably would be Tabor Road Tavern or Grato.The only chain we eat at is Outback. For the margaritas. Ha!

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