PITTSBURG — You never know when and where you’ll fall in love.
Two area couples, Monica and Carlos Angeles and Vonnie and Gene Corsini, each found their soulmates thousands of miles away from home.

Monica and Carlos
Both Monica and Carlos were on winter vacation during college, Monica was visiting from Grove, Oklahoma, and Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico. They both traveled to Cozumel, Mexico, where they ran into each other at Carlos’ family restaurant called Betos. Carlos waited on Monica and her mother at the restaurant.

“He was my waiter,” she said, adding that he asked her to dance at the restaurant. “So we danced.”

Carlos asked her to come hang with him again and she did, and they danced again at the restaurant.

A few days later they ended up running into each other at another restaurant where Carlos happened to be running an errand.

“We just kept running into each other,” she said.

Monica ended up winning a car for a day and decided that Carlos would be the driver because she was concerned about her driving. She knew where to find him, back at the restaurant. Carlos agreed to drive.

“He took us that day and from that moment we were inseparable for the next three days, and the night before he left he said he was going back to Mexico City tomorrow morning, and he asked ‘will you marry me?’” Monica said. “I did not expect that question and at the same time, it just felt right. My answer to him was I don’t know how this is going to happen or work itself out but I feel like it’s the right thing to do so yes.”

Monica actually had a New Year's resolution to not date that year because she’s had a couple of bad relationships.

“My New Year's resolution was I’m not dating anybody this whole year, January 2 I met my husband, oops,” she said. “You never know.”

Fast forward 25 years later they have five children and two grandchildren.

But before that happened they had to wait two years to get married because of the immigration process. They were able to visit during school breaks and back then, they didn’t have cell phones so they wrote letters and they had a total of 60 minutes to chat with each other on the phone every week.

He would also send her mixtapes; one of his passions at the time was being a disk jockey.

“He still has them to date and he still plays them every now and then,” she said, adding they also kept all of their letters.

They both decided to go to a college that had both of their degree interests and moved to Pittsburg to go to Pittsburg State University. They raised their family and worked in Pittsburg, Monica now a realtor for Jones Heritage Realtors and Carlos in computer technology and later a property manager for Monica.

“So far so good, I’d do it all again,” she said, adding that he’s the “sweetest.”

Vonnie and Gene

During a trip to Rome as part of her time as a flight attendant, Vonnie and her friend, who was another flight attendant, made plans to see the Pope, walk through Rome, eat at restaurants and have a good time. What Vonnie didn’t know — until the last second at least — was that her friend had invited one of the airline pilots along for the night.

“I didn’t know who she was talking about at the time … but when I saw him in the lobby I just thought he was adorable,” Vonnie said. “You never know when true love is going to strike.”

So the three walked around Rome together, saw the Pope, had dinner, came back to the lounge and had camomile tea.

“And by that time I was thinking who is this person, who is this wonderful man,” Vonnie said. “By the end of the trip, evidently the feelings were fairly mutual but I just decided I wanted to get to know him better. Then I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.”

It was just a matter of convincing him the same, she said.

“I had three months to do it before he left New York,” Vonnie said.

Gene wanted to move back to his hometown, Pittsburg, after staying in New York as he worked for the airline.

“I knew he was about ready to move to home from New York to spend some time in Kansas with his folks and I didn’t have very long to convince him that he couldn’t live without me so I began the campaign of sending him really cute Snoopy cards because he loved Snoopy and I decided that I wanted him to think about me as many times as possible and when he did he should have a smile on his face,” Vonnie said.

It took three months. That was 46 years ago on Good Friday.

“That’s what we consider our anniversary,” Vonnie said.

So they decided to move to Kansas, which Vonnie had only briefly been to for airline training.

“By the time he was ready to go, we were married and in love,” Vonnie said. “We packed up our stuff and packed as much as we can stuff into his car. And he was so sweet, he let me bring my vacuum cleaner from my apartment which he said ‘we don't have room for this’, but I said we’ve got to have the vacuum cleaner and we stuffed that vacuum cleaner in his car and we came to Kansas.”

When they came to Kansas they visited family and continued working for the airline and later Gene became a pilot for area companies. Vonnie later helped keep things lined up at home and volunteered in the community. She now volunteers for the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation.

“I recommend marriage, when you find someone that is your soulmate and is your very best friend and you can grow as a human being with and share values and experiences and adventures, all of that, and feel perfectly safe with all of the time, it's just fabulous,” Vonnie said. “As anyone who has been married any length of time knows, that’s something you work through and something you work through all of the time, you can’t be complacent about a relationship that you care about.”