A Los Angeles widower may have lost his wife to ovarian cancer a decade ago, but that hasn't stopped him from publicly celebrating their love twice every year.
According to Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times, 81-year-old Joe Ingber has been placing small tribute ads to his late wife, Eileen, in the newspaper since her death in 2002. The couple was married for 40 years.
"I place an ad in the [Los Angeles Times] twice a year," Ingber told Lopez. "One on her birthday and one on the day she died."
This July 8th, Eileen's death anniversary, Ingber -- who has two daughters and a 14-year-old grandson named Marco -- has arranged for this ad to appear:
EILEEN INGBER Nov. 3, 1933 — July 8, 2002 Ten Years — We Will Always Remember Your Love Joe — Stacy — And Marco
Stacy Ingber, their daughter, told The Huffington Post that the love her parents shared was extraordinary -- and the tribute ads have become a small outward expression of that enduring connection.
"It's a wondeful love letter. You live with memory after you lose someone," she said. "And twice a year, [my dad] gets to share his love for my mother with the public."
"He adored her, he worshipped the ground she walked on. I'd ask him as a child, 'How could you be like this?' and he was like, 'I don't care how we get there as long as we get there together.'"
Ingber, a retired criminal defense lawyer, had met Eileen through work. She was a client of his and their relationship blossomed after her case was closed. Ingber said Eileen, who had been married before, attracted him with her "well-grounded" personality.
"She was loved by everyone," he said.
Stacy, 47, wrote in her blog that her mother's death was a terrible blow to her father.
"He was forcibly made independent when my mother passed away," she wrote. "I called her mom, but after she died, he portrayed her as Mother Teresa. I am sure she could walk on water in his eyes."
Ingber said he makes an effort to write something different for each ad.
On Nov. 3, 2009, for example, Ingber's ad for his wife said:
In Loving Memory of EILEEN INGBER 11/3/1933 - 7/8/2002 When you left us you took our sunshine away with you - And left your wonderful spirit. We miss you so very much. We remember you on your birthday. Your Friends, Joe, & Your Kids
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Ingber said he wishes he could've shown Eileen just how much he appreciated and loved her when she was still alive.
"It's a normal thing to do when you respect somebody," he said, his voice breaking with emotion over the phone. "She was an extraordinary lady who was unappreciated...It's delayed gratification almost."
Stacy said that her mother's presence is still strongly felt in her father's life.
"Even today...he still talks to her, he makes decisions based on what she would have wanted her to do. It's as if they're still married. Some people close the door when someone dies, he hasn't chosen to do that," she said.
For photos of the Ingbers and more tributes to Eileen, click through this slideshow:
Eileen, Marco and Joe
Stacy, Marco and Joe Ingber
Eileen Ingber Nov 3, 1933- July 8 2002 Happy 78th Birthday Ei! We Miss You, A Lot! Joe-Stacy-Marco
Grandpa Joe and Marco
Stacy, Marco and Joe