Carmen Berra, Yogi Berra’s wife, had a long and a happy marriage to her baseball celebrity husband. She was a doting and loving wife and they were married for 65 years before she passed away in March 2014, just a little over a year before Yogi passed. When asked once how their marriage had lasted so long, she quoted a beloved Yogiism: “We have a good time together even when we’re not together,” NJ.com reported.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. They Met When Carmen Worked As a Waitress
Their enduring romance began when Carmen was a waitress at Biggie’s steakhouse in St. Louis. Yogi Berra walked in, saw her, and immediately knew that he had to know her better, NJ.com reported. Whenever he was in the area, he would frequently return with his good friend, Joe Gargiola, just so he could see her. But they were poor and couldn’t afford steaks every time, so sometimes they just ordered water.
2. He Courted Her Through the Mail And They Were Married in 1949
Yogi missed Carmen when he was on the road for his baseball career, so he courted her by writing letters, NJ.com reported. In one letter, he mentioned that she had said he wouldn’t have any time to miss her, but that wasn’t true:
I do miss you always. I am always thinking about you.”
They were married on January 26, 1949.
3. She Was His Adviser In All Things And They Adored Each Other
Carmen was Yogi’s adviser, confidant, and biggest fan. She often acted as a buffer between him and his visitors seeking endorsement and attention, but she too relished in all the attention her beloved husband was getting, NJ.com reported. He came to Carmen for her advice on all his requests and she always knew if someone was trying to take advantage of him. They were a team. He almost always followed her advice and even did little things for her that she would ask, like waiting in a long line for tickets to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean told NJ.com that:
It is almost impossible to imagine two people who complemented each other better than they did.”
4. Carmen Raised Their Children And Was Involved in Many Activities Of Her Own
Carmen raised their three sons, Larry, Tim, and Dale, and kept things in order while Yogi was on the road, taking the boys to their schools and sports practices. She also had many interests of her own, NJ.com reported, including programs and charities like the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, and breast cancer research.
5. They Had Been Married 65 Years When She Died
When Carmen died, she and Yogi had just celebrated 65 years of marriage. They had moved into an assisted living center near their home so she could get better care. She died in March 2014 at 85 from complications from a stroke she suffered earlier in the year, MLB.com reported. Friends and family said she was a sweetheart and always kind in everyone’s presence.