After a Tragic Beginning, a ‘Happily Ever After’

The second date took a long time. In late April, Ms. Katz realized that she should have contacted him sooner rather than later. His texts to her were “very attentive,” she added. “He was so adorable and so brilliant,” she said.

After a few weeks, on June 10, they announced their relationship. A de facto agreement was reached that “I don’t think we should see anyone else,” according to Mr. Sacks. When he saw her, he was awestruck. “It was mind-blowing to learn the beginning of her story. I admired her morals and the progress she’d made.”


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Ira Rosen Studio Should Be Credited

Mr. Sacks first met Bruce Katz and Steven Matz, the fathers of Ms. Katz, shortly after they announced their engagement. His knowledge of the Katz family’s adoption of Ms. Katz and her younger sister, Kimberly Katz, in 2002 was based on the fact that he was the niece’s biological uncle.

Until the age of 8, Ms. Katz lived in Brookville on Long Island. Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed the life of Dr. Richard A. Leopold, her father, in the Leopold family garage in 2001. He committed suicide and left a letter.

Poison gas killed his wife, Dr. Rhonda Leopold, and their 5-year-old daughter, Allison Leopold. Besides Ms. Katz and Kimberly, who had been overtaken by the fumes, there were no other survivors.

Ms. Katz On a New Path in her Early Years

Mr. Katz’s commitment to his late sister’s surviving children led Ms. Katz on a new path in her early years. As she put it, he “truly stepped up.” Having two fathers wasn’t very common on Long Island, where everyone knew who we were and looked at me with sympathy. In addition to her father’s, she attributes her tenacity to a lack of options: In the face of adversity, “you either break or you keep going.”

After he proposed to her on Sept. 26, 2020, Mr. Sacks hoped to continue their relationship for the rest of their lives together. He also intended to give her a life tale that ended differently than it began. It was her who, in his opinion, was most deserving of a happily ever after. “And I’m going to make it happen.”

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On July 17, Jaimee Shalhevet, a rabbi at North Shore Synagogue, married Mr. Sacks and Ms. Katz at Pelligrini Vineyards in Cutchogue, New York. Although her fathers escorted her down the aisle, Mrs. Katz’s mother was always in her heart. A few years ago, she said, “I’ve tried to do things in my life that I know Mom would have wanted me to.” “I’d like to think she’d be pleased with me.”