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Michael and Terri Schiavo Marriage Profile


Photo: Tim Boyles / Getty Images

Her headstone in the Sylvan abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida was placed there by her husband Michael. He promised not to keep her alive by artificial means, and the headstone contains the words 'I Kept My Promise.'

Photo: Tim Boyles / Getty Images
Here's information about how Michael and Terri Schiavo met, their wedding, and more, including a time line of the medical dispute regarding Terri's condition and death.

News Update:

1/21/06: After meeting one another 11 years ago at a dentist's office, Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze were married in a Catholic church in Espiritu Santo in Florida. They have two children.

6/20/05: Terri Schiavo's cremated ashes were interred at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida.


Michael Schiavo: April 3, 1963 in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Theresa Marie Schindler: December 3, 1963 in Pennsylvania. She grew up in Huntingdon Valley, a suburb of Philadelphia.


Terri: March 31, 2005 in Pinellas Park, Florida. Her cremated ashes were interred at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida, on June 20, 2005.

How Terri and Michael Met:

Michael and Terri met as students at Bucks County Community College in 1982. After their second date she knew they would marry. Five months later Michael proposed.


Theresa, Catholic; Michael, Lutheran.

Wedding Date and Ceremony:

Michael and Terri were married on November 10, 1984 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Southhampton, Pennsylvania.

Terri wore a lacy, high-necked wedding dress. Her bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses and straw hats. Michael wore a gray tuxedo. They had approximately 200 guests at their wedding.

Several years after Terri's collapse, Michael replaced his wedding ring with a customized gold ring that had the diamonds from Terri's engagement and wedding bands.

Ages at Marriage:

Teresa Schindler, 20, and Michael Schiavo, 21.


Initially, Michael and Terri lived in Pennsylvania. In 1986 they moved to St. Petersburg, Florida when Terri's parents moved there for an early retirement.

Michael later moved to Clearwater, Florida.


Michael: Restaurant manager, respiratory therapist, and registered nurse.

Terri: Insurance clerk for Prudential Insurance both in Pennsylvania and Florida. Terri wanted to be a veterinarian.


Terri and Michael had no children.

Michael has two children with Jodi Centonze. Michael and Jodi began living together in Clearwater, Florida in 1995.

Quores About the Marriage of Terri and Michael Schiavo:

Michael on not divorcing Terri: "This is Terri's wish, this is Terri's choice. And I'm going to follow that wish if it's the last thing I can do for Terri."
Source: ABC News

Medical Dispute Timeline:

2/25/90: Around 5:30 AM, Terri Schiavo, 26, collapsed. Interruption of oxygen flow to her brain caused permanent brain damage.

Michael Schiavo was appointed by a court as her legal guardian.

1992: Robert Schindler stated that Michael was involved in Terri's collapse. Michael was awarded $1 million in a malpractice judgment by a jury in Pinellas County, Florida. $700,000 was placed into a trust fund for Terri's medical expenses. Reportedly, that the money was mostly spent on legal bills.

1993: The Schindlers tried to have Michael removed as Terri's guardian stating that he was not providing rehabilitation for Terri.

1998: Michael petitioned to have the feeding and hydration tube removed from Terri even though she had not signed an advanced directive or a living will.

2/00: Judge George W. Greer of the Florida Circuit Court ruled that the feeding tube could be removed.

4/24/01: Terri's feeding tube was removed. It was reinserted by Circuit Court Judge Frank Quesada two days later.

10/02/01: An indefinite stay was ordered by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

11/02: Three doctors testified that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state without hope of recovery. Two other doctors reported that they believe Terri could recover. Judge Greer ruled that the feeding tube could be removed in January 2003.

10/15/03: The feeding tube was removed.

10/21/03: "Terri's Law" was passed by the Florida legislature which allowed Gov. Jeb Bush to stay the judge's order and to have the feeding tube reinserted.

2004: "Terri's Law" was declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court. Gov. Jeb Bush appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1/24/05: The appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

3/1/05: The animosity between Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers grew when they asked that photos of Terri not become part of Michael's property. They asked for her not to be cremated. The Schindlers asked the Second District Court of Appeals to grant Terri a divorce based on his alleged adultery.

3/10/05: Michael rejected an offer of $1 million to give up his role as guardian for Terri. He also rejected other offers including one reportedly for $10 million.

3/18/05: The feeding tube was removed. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected.

3/21/05: A bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush that transferred jurisdiction of Terri's case to Judge James Whittemore of the U.S. District Court.

3/23/05: U.S. District Court Judge James Whittermore refused to grant a restraining order. The Schindlers filed an appeal. The three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their appeal.

3/23/05: Michael was reported to be staying by Terri's side until she died.

3/31/05: Terri Schiavo died, at the age of 41. She had been connected to a feeding tube for 15 years. An autopsy was ordered.

Terri was not alone when she died. At Terri's bedside were:
  • Michael, who cradled her
  • Michael's brother, Brian
  • Attorney George Felos
  • Attorney Deborah Bushnell
  • Hospice caregivers

4/1/05: Debate between Michael Schiavo and the Schindler family continued over whether Terri would be cremated or buried. Two funerals were planned.

4/4/05: Terri Schiavo's body was cremated. Michael was required to notify her parents as to where her ashes were interred.

4/15/05: Documents released by the Florida's Dept. of Children and Families show no clear evidence of abuse, neglect, or rehabilitation denied. The agency was ordered to make the documents public by Judge Greer. Four memorial services were held by Terri's parents.

6/15/05: The autopsy on Terri Schiavo revealed she was blind, had no sign of trauma, and that her brain was half the normal size. There was no evidence to contradict the original persistent vegetative state diagnosis.

6/20/05: Terri's cremated remains were interred at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida.

1/21/06: Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze were married in a Catholic church in Espiritu Santo, Florida.

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