Finding love in the most unlikely places

There are so many "what if's" in life, they make one think about how the cards did or didn't play out in their love life. Two couples at Samaritas Senior Living that got their happy ending, despite all the wild cards and complications thrown their way.

Gerri and Les Shoemaker

Gerri and Les Shoemaker met at Reed's Lake ice skating on December 29, 1939, but little did they know when they met they'd spend the next 74 years of their life together.

"My buddy and I went 12 miles to go over there. I don't know why, there were other places to skate." Les said. "We were lead to go there, and these two gals were standing on the side of the rink."

One of those girls happened to be Gerri, and the four teens spent the night skating on the ice enjoying each other's company. However the night took an unfortunate turn while the men tried to save someone who fell through the ice.

While the night was memorable in so many ways, however the two left the evening not leaving much of an impression on each other, until they met again.

Fast forward one year, Les and two of his friends were back skating at Richmond Park, and saw the same two girls standing by the side of the pond. They introduced themselves again, and ended up driving to another lake together because of unsafe ice conditions.

Fortunately this trip to the lake was more enjoyable and memorable for both Gerri and Les. They skated on Lamar Lake, stumbled and fell on the ice, and as Gerri recalls a lot of laughter.

"I thought he had a really nice laugh." Gerri said. "So when he took me home and asked me on a date, I agreed."

After dating for a year and a half, Les was drafted for World War II, so they decided there was no better time for them to get married.

"I figured we better get married because she wanted to follow me around the country." Les said. They were married on July 31, 1942, and have since been married for nearly 75 years.

Dale and Evelyn Borst

Not all love stories are ones that last the longest. Dale and Evelyn Borst have only been married for five years, but have known each other since they were teenagers.

The two dated for a summer when they were 16-years-old and were really good friends, however their relationship was a little more complicated than it appeared. Evelyn was in her last year of high school working hard to keep a scholarship that would send her to college, while Dale was going into the Air Force.

"He left, and like I said we were good friends." Evelyn explained. "I think we both just got busy with our lives, and I didn't hear from him for 60 years."

Fast forward 60 years later, after they each lived differnt lives, they came back together in the most unusual of circumstances.

After 57 years, Dale had lost his first wife. Just a little more than a week later, he saw Evelyn's maiden name in the newspaper near the obituary section.

"I saw evie lost her husband exactly five weeks to the day after I lost my wife," Dale said. He went to a visitation for a friend at the funeral home, and learned that Evie's husband was in the next reposing room.

He didn't know at first how to approach Evelyn, "My sister had worked with Evie for a little while so she was there with me and said 'Let's go together and see Evie.'"

That was all it took to break the ice.

"It took him three months to call me," Evelyn joked. While it was still too soon after losing their mates and neither of them was looking for a new partner, it just felt right.

Eventually, they started dating for six months, got engaged, and married a year later in January of 2012.

The couple has had a lot of fun together since their marriage. They've done a lot of traveling, been on a few cruises, talk a lot, and expanded their lives together at Samaritas.

Despite the so many "what if's" in these relationships, there's always couples out there proving there's a reason to work things out the way they do.

 

Do you have a really unique love story? Samaritas Senior Living wants to hear about it! Email your story to seniors@samaritas.org for a chance to win a free dinner. All ages are welcome to enter and are due by February 8.

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