Crestview Country Club director of tennis Marc Gelina and his wife, Jill, still act like newlyweds. They tease one another, giggle at each other’s jokes and aren’t afraid to show a little bit of affection in public. After 33 years of marriage, the pair said they are still in love.
“We are a couple who truly gets along,” Marc said. The two met when they both worked at a club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they liked each other right away.
“He was — he is — very handsome,” Jill said. “We seemed to have a lot in common.” Marc was the head pro at the club, and Jill worked at the pro shop and front desk. She loved tennis; he loved tennis.
“She was real easy to talk to,” Marc said. “But I had a job; you don’t want to have a girlfriend right at the place you work … When we started going out, it was hot and heavy.”
After about a year, the pair married and moved to Grosse Pointe, where they stayed until moving to Wichita 24 years ago. Marc had accepted the job he holds today, director of tennis at Crestview Country Club.
“We were ready for a new adventure,” Jill said. “We were born and raised there. It was time for something new.”
By that time, the Gelina family had grown from two to five, as the couple had three young boys. Their sons, Grant, 32, Mitchel, 30, and Ross, 28, learned to play tennis from their tennis-loving parents.
“We are pretty simple, but we are also simply happy.” - Jill Gelina
“You go through so much when you are married for a long time,” Marc said. “You’re raising all your kids. Both of our parents have passed away … There are so many memories you have after a long time with kids.”
The couple shared some secrets of their marital longevity. “We have always communicated well,” Marc said. “We have always worked together, too, and have a lot of the same interests.” Jill contributed, “He is very thoughtful. He is a good jewelry picker outer.” As the two discussed their life together, memories revealed more relationship positives. Marc talked about how, when the boys were young, he gained the opportunity to travel around the world coaching a professional tennis player, and Jill fully supported him. “I was so excited for him to have the opportunity,” Jill said.
The two also traveled together, citing their favorite vacations as an Alaskan cruise and seeing a bear in Yellowstone National Park. “You’ve got to make time for yourselves,” Jill said.
Now as empty nesters, they enjoy leisure time. A day at the club is often followed by downtime at home.
“We are pretty simple, but we are also simply happy,” Jill said. She said after all these years, Marc is still her ideal partner. “He’s mellowed out with age,” she said. “He’s gotten sweeter as he’s gotten older. He’s an amazingly good husband.”
Marc said he never tires of Jill. “I have just always liked being around her,” he said. “I’ve got other guy friends and everything, but most of the time I’d just rather be with my wife.”