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Love Through the Ages

in Resident Stories, Senior Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Couples at Spectrum Retirement

Scholars and scientists alike have spent years analyzing and psychoanalyzing the idea of love – what it means, how do we obtain it and most of all, once we’ve found it how can we make it last? We decided to take a look within our own walls for this answer and well, what we found out was simple – everyone and every relationship is different. Each of our residents’ love stories is simply unique. But one thing they all have in common is a lifelong commitment and the years to prove it. Read some highlights from our residents love stories and thoughtful advice on marriage and how to make it last.




Jerry and Betty – Carmel Senior Living – 24 years

Jerry and Betty met over 48 years ago and then reunited again 24 years ago at Hattos Drug store. Betty worked at Hattos Drug store and Jerry would call on the drug store as a Drug Distributor. On their first date Jerry picked up Betty from work and they had dinner at Applebee’s. Between them, they have 11 children, 23 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Staying active is what keeps them going and looking good. Dinner outings, dominoes, bingo, and social events keep them very involved in the community. Betty helps with our Carmel Depot store and both are Ambassadors to our new residents. Jerry and Betty say that the key to a lasting relationship is trust and communication.

Mike and Nancy – Lombard Place Assisted Living & Memory Care – 25 years

Mike and Nancy have been married for 25 years. It is a second marriage for both and they are as much in love as on the day they met. They met through mutual friends. Mike and Nancy went out to dinner on their first date. On their third date, Mike told Nancy he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Nancy felt the same way and after dating for several months they married. There was a huge wedding and a honeymoon in San Francisco. Each Valentine’s Day Mike has a special routine. He wakes up early and goes to the store for chocolates, flowers and a special card. He calls this the ‘three triangles’. Every year the store is filled with guys doing the same thing as he and he meets them all at the cash register. Nancy likes to make Mike one of his favorite meals on Valentine’s Day, beef stroganoff. Then they drink bourbon on the rocks and enjoy their romantic dinner together. Mike in return makes Nancy a very special breakfast of eggs benedict, homemade fried potatoes, and bacon.

Roger and Janie – Lakeview Senior Living – 56 years

Roger and Janie were both attending the University of Colorado when they attended a dormitory outing. Roger saw Janie and told the other guys to stay away from her. The next year Janie went to Denver to finish her nurses training. Roger was still at CU in Boulder, so he made the drive to see Janie. At that time US36 from Boulder to Denver was a toll road which was 25 cents to drive on. Roger feels he paid for half of that road with all the trips he made from Boulder to Denver! Janie grew up in Sun Valley, ID and loved to ice skate. Roger was afraid to ask her to go skiing while they were dating fearing she was an excellent skier because of her upbringing. When he finally got the courage to ask her to ski, he found out she hadn’t really skied before. They were married in 1963. Their two sons were born in Texas and in 1974 they moved to Denver, CO.

Mike and Bonnie – Three Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care – 59 years

Mike and Bonnie Rogers met while students at rival colleges. Mike was a junior at Marquette University and Bonnie was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Mike and some of his friends took a road trip to a football game in Madison where Mike’s friend was meeting his girlfriend, who happened to be Bonnie’s sorority sister. Bonnie agreed to go out with them as a favor to her friend, and Mike and Bonnie both agree the attraction was immediate. Bonnie remembers saying when she got home that night, “dammit, I had a good time.” A long-distance relationship began and many love letters were exchanged to keep the romance alive. Following Bonnie’s graduation, they married on August 6, 1960, in Glenview, Illinois. They started their family soon after with a son Michael Jr., followed by a daughter Katie and another son Mark.  Their love and affection for each other are obvious, as they can always be seen holding hands.  They will be celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary in August.

Bill and Angie – The Enclave at Anthem Senior Living – 62 Years

On January 3rd, 1953 Bill and his friend, Dan, went out to a roller-skating rink in Queens. Angie and one of her girlfriends also went to the same roller-skating rink that night.  Bill skated with a couple of different girls, while Angie skated with one boy all night.  Towards the end of the night, Bill’s friend and Angie’s friend met and hit it off and began skating together.  When the roller rink closed at 11 pm, Bill’s friend invited Angie’s friend out for pizza.  She agreed and went to go find Angie.  Dan told Bill that he met a nice girl and they were all going to go out for pizza.  Angie’s friend came back to them and said that Angie would not come out of the bathroom because the boy she had been skating with all night was waiting for her outside the restroom and she was scared of him.  Bill went over to him and told him to “Get lost”, which he did.  Angie finally came out of the bathroom and the four of them went out for pizza.  Afterward, Bill drove both the girls’ home to Brooklyn. Angie knew she had met the one and told her family that she was going to marry him. The very next day, Bill called her as he knew that she was the girl for him.  Bill and Angie were together from that day forward. They were blessed with two sons and a lifetime of love. This year, Bill and Angie will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary.

Jim and Charlene – The Homestead at Hickory View – 62 years

Jim and Charlene met at a Presbyterian Church St. Patrick’s Day supper in 1955 and will be married for 62 years this August. Charlene said that Jim was really interested in the church organist, so when he asked her on a date she turned him down! Charlene also said that she noticed Jim because he was wearing a very large cowboy hat. She said she hated that hat and wished he’d take it off. Jim said that he thought Charlene had a nice smile and good looks. He did, however, eventually get her phone number and called her for a date. She finally said yes, and their first date was at Rockwood’s Reservation. Jim worked for the Conservation Department at the time. They both said they behaved themselves on their first date, but Jim wasn’t very comfortable picking Charlene up for their dates because her Dad would always be there sitting in his chair. They were engaged at Christmas in 1956 and married on a hot August day in 1957. They went to Colorado to go fishing for their honeymoon and did a lot of camping throughout their marriage. They have two sons and two grandsons.

Dick and Jenny – Sycamore Creek Senior Living – 67 years

Dick and Jenny Davis have been married for 67 years; they met in a record store where Jenny sold records and Dick came in as a record salesman. They have lived in Ohio all their married life. Dick and Jenny have been blessed with five children, 12 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. When asked to provide advice for young couples out there, they replied “One word: Love. Just work hard in your marriage and don’t ever see divorce as an option. Don’t run away when things get hard, work it out and continue on.” Dick is a retired Pastor and has been a leader at two Churches in the Columbus and surrounding areas. While Serving his Church, Dick also worked for 20 years at the State Health Department in the Division of Alcoholism. They are very active in our community and enjoy playing corn hole and Bingo – always with a smile on their face.

Cherry and Fred – Gardens at Westlake Senior Living – 68 years

Cherry and Fred met on a blind date after Fred’s return from service in the Army. Although Cherry always said she would not date unless she felt the guy was the right one for her, the sparks flew that first night and the rest was history.  They married on July 20, 1951. They raised four children, Mark, Melinda, Marilee, and Marty. They also raised one of their grandsons. Fred and Cherry were acknowledged as citizens of the year in Fairview Park, Ohio for outstanding contributions to the community. Both said they were grateful for God’s love and each other – a big key to their long-lasting love story.

George and Jean – Southview Assisted Living & Memory Care – 68 years

George and Jean were born in 1929 and 1930, and have been married for 68 years.  They met in high school and both attended Roosevelt High School in St. Louis Missouri.  For George, it was love at first sight, but for Jean, it was on and off again, as she dated other men.  Their first dinner date was at Jean’s house where her grandfather was having dinner with them.  They had pork chops and apple sauce. While George was cutting his pork chop his knife slipped and off went the pork chop through the applesauce and all over Grandpa’s face and wall!  They still laugh about it today!  Their favorite dates were walking to the drug store to get chocolate ice cream.  Every Friday night they went to their friend’s house and made homemade pizza.  They were 21 & 20 years old when they got married.  They had three girls and one boy, and now have 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  There was a church on our property before they built Southview that the Parker’s attended.  Three of their kids were baptized and married at that church.  They are still very happily married and in love.


Charlie & Tilly – Gardens at Ocotillo Senior Living – 70 years

Charlie & Tilly met at a mutual friend’s wedding.  Charlie’s father asked Tilly to dance and when he returned to the table he told Charlie that he should ask her to dance because she was a nice girl.  They saw each other every single day for the next two years. Sometimes just as he was walking to night school, he would pass her house and she would wave from the window.  Tilly says they have lived a wonderful life together and raised three children, nine grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren!  She accredits their 70 years together on always having dinner together, companionship and that Charlie was always a great provider and put his family first. These two are a perfect example of love and are very well respected and admired at the Gardens at Ocotillo! They were married on September 25, 1949, and this year will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

Dick and Anne – Lombard Place Assisted Living & Memory Care – 71 years

Dick and Anne have been married for 71 years. They met during high school while working at High Low Foods in Evergreen Park. They are a fun-loving couple who enjoys the gift of wit and laughter. Dick took Anne on their first date to a movie. Anne remembers the first Valentine’s gift Dick ever gave her, it was an “Evening in Paris Box.”  Dick and Anne were married in 1947 and they spent their wedding night at the Palmer House, which cost them $17.00 dollars for the night. Sixty years later, Anne read in the paper that if anyone who had their original wedding night receipt they could stay at the Palmer House for that same price. They went back to the Palmer House with their original receipt and had a wonderful 2-night stay in the Pent House Suite! It was a precious time of remembering that special celebration. Dick and Anne’s favorite date night after they were married, was the Triangle Swimming Club and Rickets for dinner. Anne would make a romantic Valentine’s dinner for Dick; his favorite is spaghetti and meatballs, with garlic bread, with a glass of wine. Dick in return would make a loving breakfast for Anne of steak and eggs.

Don and Margaret – HighPointe Assisted Living & Memory Care – 72 years

Don and Margaret will celebrate their 72nd anniversary next month. They met in college at the University of Denver, where they were both education majors. They got married in their senior year, but only after taking finals that morning. Margaret’s wedding dress was made by her sister from a white military parachute.  Don went on to teach 6th grade, and Margaret went on to teach Physical Education and Special Education.  They raised five children together on two small teachers’ salaries.  According to Margaret, their life together has been one joy after another.