Sunday, Feb. 14 will mark the 76th Valentine’s Day Rogue and Eva Vizcaino will spend as husband and wife. A short six days later, on Feb. 20, the couple will celebrate their 77th Wedding Anniversary with friends and family.
Rogue, 95, and Eva, 91, still reside in their Riverbank home, thanks largely in part to the supportive family of 13 children they raised. Youngest son Martin and wife Freida Vizcaino reside with the couple to aid with everyday life.
Theirs is a true love story of love at first sight. The couple first spotted one another during a festival in their native country of Mexico. Eva was just 12 at the time and Rogue 16. They maintained correspondence for the next two years via letters to one another.
“He would ask friends about her and if other guys were interested in her,” son Martin shared on his father’s behalf.
“She was special,” Rogue said of his interest and courting of Eva. “Everything that I saw was good, I saw in her.”
Two years later, the couple reconnected and Rogue’s father asked Eva’s family if they would grant his son the honor of marrying their daughter. The couple wed on Feb. 20, 1939. Their beginnings were humble and meager, but they shared their love for one another and their faith in God was strong enough to begin their life together.
“Ever since we first saw each other we fell in love,” Eva said, “true love. When it’s true love you don’t compromise or quit. We took our vows serious, we said ‘til death until we part.”
As the couple’s family began to grow, Rogue worked hard to provide for his family. His work ethic and drive eventually found him working as a laborer in Utah. Impressed by Rogue and his hardworking spirit, his employer helped him secure US Citizenship and bring his family to the United States in 1956. Thirteen years later, the family came to Riverbank.
“He has a big heart and will stop at nothing to help his family and friends,” Eva said of her husband. “God’s given us too much. We started with very little and we’re still here.”
Son Martin shared his parents have always been extremely giving people, even when they had little to give they supported friends and family. He described them as both humble and grateful people, often in awe of the good graces now bestowed upon them in their senior years.
“I’m grateful for the people that love us so much and all that they’ve done for us,” Eva said. “It’s hard to be able to tell them all face to face but I’m just grateful.”
Not uncommon to most couples, regardless of age or years married, husband Rogue is the quieter of the duo.
“I’m grateful that she took care of all our kids and loved me,” Rogue said. “I didn’t know if she would marry me, but that’s what I wanted.”
“You have to put up with the ups and downs and just hang in there,” Eva said, when asked of the secret to a 77-year-long marriage. “It was hard because we were poor at the time, but we hung in there.”
Martin shared that his parents have always placed importance on their Catholic religion, prayer and devotion to family.
“Their favorite thing to do is spend time together and be surrounded by their family,” Martin said. “He (Rogue) is most proud of his family.”
“We’ve just been blessed,” Eva said. “I’m even surprised by how long he’s had us here. It’s just all been for the family. They’ve been so good and God’s just blessing us.”
In addition to spending time surrounded by family, the couple also still enjoys trips to casinos and trying their luck on the penny machines, noting Black Oak as their local favorite.
Their children are: Lola Zavaleta, Nelly Prado, Alicia Elenes, Gavy Seraphin, Eva Ramirez, Amelia, Jesse, Oscar, Johnny, Ceaser, Adam, Armando and Martin Vizcaino. They are also grandparents to a total of 148 grandchildren and great grandchildren.