Daniels Family Funeral Services made it possible for Marilyn DeJesus and nearly 200 other Rio Rancho seniors to enjoy a free afternoon showing of the acclaimed film “The Butler” last week at Premiere Cinema.
But DeJesus and husband Richard were also in store for a special surprise, courtesy of Daniels, to mark their 25th wedding anniversary.
It started when DeJesus spotted a Daniels advertisement in the Observer offering free senior movie passes to the 2 p.m. showing of “The Butler” on Aug. 27. It gave a phone number to call to reserve a seat.
“When I called in to put our name on the list, I said, ‘Gee, it’s funny how it happens to be free on the day of our 25th anniversary,'” DeJesus said. “Evidently, when she wrote down our name, she must have written down 25th anniversary.”
On the morning before movie time, DeJesus got a call from Daniels’ Paul Daniels, who offered congratulations and a proposal: a limo ride for her and her husband to and from Premiere Cinema. Their ride would be at the door at 1 p.m., he told her.
“I hope you’re not coming to get us in a hearse,” DeJesus recalled saying, with a laugh. “He said, ‘No, no, no, it’s going to be a nice white limo.'”
There was also room for two of the DeJesuses’ friends.
Just before the show began, Daniels entered the theater.
“He said he wanted to make an announcement before the show starts,” she said. “He said, ‘Let’s all give a hand to Richard and Marilyn DeJesus.'”
The DeJesuses were married in 1988 at the Mona Lisa Restaurant in Hauppauge on Long Island. They moved to Northern Meadows in Rio Rancho seven years ago after living 16 years near St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We came to the 2005 balloon fiesta and enjoyed it and while we were here, we looked at some model homes,” she said. “That’s when we made a fast decision that we liked it here and we’d like to move.”
Her husband is a retired professional photographer. She worked in advertising, but also is retired and currently teaches a scrapbooking class at the Meadowlark Senior Center.
She’ll likely want to scrapbook her own recent experience.
“I thought that was really nice and something different,” DeJesus said. “I felt like a celebrity going to that show.”
“We just thought it’d be something nice to do,” Daniels said, noting the free movie offer was a giant success as well, drawing 190 people.