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WSL Seniors Share: Love Grows Here

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Other half, loved one, spouse, best friend, life partner are just some ways we recognized and remember someone special. Wentworth Senior Living (WSL) residents share their stories of how they met their significant other, their favorite memories with them, and their secret to having a beautiful and meaningful relationship.

Joanie & Jim, “You’re the Best, by Par.”


Joanie and her late significant other met on the golf course. “I used to golf with two other guys, and he was golfing ahead of us, and when we finished golfing, he said he was meeting friends in Maine for lunch. I said, ‘Well if you’re in the area again let me know…’”

The next day he dropped by her house, and they spent the day together. Within one week he asked her, “Why don’t you move in with me?” said Joanie, “So, I moved in with him…”

“My friends were mortified!”

Together, Joanie and Jim moved to Florida, where they lived at the Tampa Bay Country Club for 17 years. “He golfed and I swam… Every morning, we had a golf cart, he would get in the golf cart and meet some friends and go golfing. And I would go to the pool and swim a mile every day. And after he was done playing golf he would come to the pool, and we would spend the rest of the day together.”


Joanie said she also loved taking her annual trips with Jim to go see his brother and sister-in-law. “Every winter we would take a couple of weeks and go to Puerto Rico… we had a wonderful time.” They always made sure to hit the golf course there as well.

Joanie explained that the secret to a great love, is respecting each other, enjoying each other’s company, and having hobbies that you like to share together. “That’s the secret, you’ve got to like the person you’re with.”

She went on to add, “We never had an argument; we never had a disagreement. We had a magnificent relationship. We just loved being together. He was just the kindest nicest person. He was a nice looking, pleasant, well-mannered man.

Any two people that could have the relationship we had are very lucky. I just can’t believe how wonderful he was and how well we got along.”

Bonnie & Philip, “Faithful High School Sweethearts.”


On May 18, in 1958, Bonnie and Phil met in high school while on a school bus in Wyandotte, Michigan. It was a coincidental situation, that one could argue was in the hands of fate. Phil’s car broke down, so he hopped on the bus that day to get to the fish market where he worked, and Bonnie was also on the bus because her dad only gave her rides in the mornings. “There was a reason I was on that bus, it was a per chance meeting,” said Phil. After they had sat together on the bus, Phil saw her walking on the street. He asked to see her again and for her help in typing up his school paper. And that was just the beginning of their story.

From then on, they went to church and attended youth groups, danced at all the proms, and after seven years of going steady, they got married in August of 1964.

Although they were part of many clubs, including a snowmobile club, the Homebuilder’s Association, the Lions Club, and National Hot Rod Association, Bonnie said her favorite thing to do together was and still is spending time with their family. They adored raising their two sons, both of whom loved sports and played hockey. One of their sons went on to play in the NHL and then created the most recognized hockey training program in the country, while the other is a president and CEO of a distributing corporation. Bonnie and Phil are very proud of their family and love spending time with their five grandchildren.

Their favorite trip they went on was to Europe for five weeks in 1989 for their 40th wedding anniversary. They were excited to get their passports stamped by so many interesting places, “We went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Grindelwald Switzerland, Paris, France, Austria, Cannes, and Lichenstein.”

“We have had a very, very, very, very busy life…as we still do now,” said Bonnie. “He is [at WSL] and he is busy all the time, and I’m home, but I’m involved with senior bridge, yoga…” No matter how busy they have been and continue to be, it’s always been time well spent.


“My favorite things about Phil… all his life no matter what was going on, no matter how busy we were, he always said his rosary every day. The other thing is he was always game to do anything, here’s your hat what’s your hurry kind of thing.”

They said the secret to a long marriage is about working together and talking through things. Phil added, “Communication is really what made us.” They are very happy to have moved to New England and to have created a life that they’ve loved while maintaining a close relationship with their family.

Bonnie and Phil are currently celebrating their 60th anniversary. Cheers to many more years!

John and Armonia “Home is wherever you are.”


John and Armonia met in Washington, DC while he was in the State Department, and she was working at the World Bank. They were 33 and 28 years old in 1966 when they met in the dining hall that their two resident halls shared. One day, Armonia was in the dining hall with her roommates, when John walked in.

“I sat down next to her and asked where she was from. She said, ‘I’m from Spain,’ which I liked a lot… then I said, I’ve always heard that the most beautiful girls in Spain live just about 20 miles northwest of Barcelona.”

“I am from there,” she said modestly.

“We did everything together,” said John. “We went on picnics, went to the movies, and for drives in the very first mustang that I bought in DC.”

Soon after they met, John had to go to work in Venezuela, his first post. But already knowing that he wanted to make it official, he quickly made arrangements to get married on February 14, 1967 — The day that every year will be remembered to be more than just Valentine’s Day.

They were married in Catalonia, Spain in the beautiful mountains of the Montserrat Monastery during the season of Lent. A monk performed the ceremony, and they had a wonderful reception. For their honeymoon they traveled to Paris, London, and ended in Aruba before heading back to Venezuela to live for the next three years.

“I never felt like I wanted to get married, I just didn’t want to.” She went on to say that, once she met John, she changed her mind. “I met John and that was it.”


John was a Foreign Service officer, a member of the diplomatic arm of the U.S Government. “Essentially the job came down to keeping peaceful relations. We worked with the local governments and societies.”

This gave them and their family the opportunity to travel. Each of their children was born in a different country: One son was born in Venezuela, one in Colombia, and the other son in El Salvador. Their daughter Isabel, who died at 13 months of age, was born in Barbados. The family also lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and India.

“I wanted to see the world, and I did. So, I think God gave me that privilege, that I always wanted,” said Armonia.

When asked their favorite things about each other, John said, “Well, everything really. Her personality, her accent, I loved that, and I never felt really comfortable with anyone else.”

Armonia agreed, “For me, I felt comfortable from the first moment.”

They said the secret to a successful journey of 57 years together was a mutual understanding and having the same purpose in life. Helping each other when they needed it is what they believe has kept them close while traveling the globe and while living at WSL. More memories to come.