ELIZABETH, NJ - Dedicated Elizabeth couple Anne (Winkler) Piga and Sal Piga will celebrate 60 years of marriage on Sept. 8, and her story is just as sweet.
When Anne Winkler met Sal Piga in 1952, she had just moved to Elizabeth from Newark N.J. and was entering 9th Grade. Sal Piga had left school and started a career in auto repair. When Anne turned 16, her then boyfriend Sal threw her a birthday party with all of their friends.
By December of 1953 the two were engaged to marry. On Christmas Eve all the friends and family gathered at Saint Anthony’s Church near the Saint Anne’s statue, and Anne’s father gave his daughter some sound advice, “You stay in school.” Anne did that and graduated in 1954 from Edison High School.
The young couple continued forward with their careers. Anne worked for N.J. Bell Telephone Company and Sal worked at SE&M Veron Company, a book manufacturer.
Anne and Sal were married on Sept. 8, 1956 at Saint Anthony’s, once again surrounded by family and friends. Anne and Sal welcomed a son, Peter, into the fold on Nov. 13, 1957 and their daughter Sally Anne was born on Jan. 2, 1959. Anne became a stay at home work wife and Sal became a custodian for The City of Elizabeth at City Hall.
In 1965 Anne one again joined the workforce securing a job with the Elizabeth police Department as a school crossing guard. Anne maintained that job at one of the most complex and dangerous roads in Elizabeth, the Bayway Circle. She crossed school children and adults there for 41 years, retiring in 2006. Sal retired from City Hall in 2001.
“All those children were like my Grandchildren”, said Anne. She knew everyone who traveled her corner and because of her personal connection with the children and their relatives she was able to thwart a kidnapping attempt. She saw an unknown woman escorting two neighborhood boys and asked where their Grandmother was. “I’m just taking them to the store with me” was the reply. Anne demanded that the boys stay with her and the woman continued to walk away. The Elizabeth Police were notified and the children were returned safely.
After their retirements’ the happy couple traveled for ten years and visited every state in the U.S. The happy couple remains inseparable and in love. They look forward to celebrating their 60 year Anniversary as they did the sweet 16, engagement and wedding, with loving family and friends!