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‘Beautiful innocence:’ Daughter shares parents’ WWII love letters

GALVESTON – Before there were dating apps and text messaging, couples courted through handwritten letters. A Galveston woman shares how her late parents’ love spanned close to 200 letters, a war and six decades.

It was a love for the ages. Joe and Mickey Pennino were married for 60 years until their passing. Their love withstood the test of time and their damp farmhouse attic in New Orleans. Their daughter Laura was able to salvage the letters her parents wrote to one another.

“There was just a beautiful innocence in these letters,” said Laura.

The two were neighbors before they became pen pals.

“Mom went into the local corner store to get milk and bread and that’s how my parents saw each other,” said Laura.

Joe, 21, went off to fight with the U.S. Army in WWII in the early 1940s. Mickey, 13, at the time, was a high school student. Laura said her father didn’t know her mother’s true age until later but before the pair wed when Laura turned 18.

“They got married about five months after my dad got out of WWII,” said Laura.

The two wrote each other letters from 1941 to 1945 before they married. The lovebirds have since passed on. Mickey to lymphoma in 2006 and Sgt. Pennino in 2016. Their love for one other life on in black and white.

“It’s good for me to know that this kind of love is possible, and that love is, love never dies,” said Laura.

Laura hopes to donate some of those letters to the WWII museum in New Orleans so others can be touched by her parent’s love.