Every day, Elisabeth Wynn looked forward to seeing her friend Frank Adler in the swimming pool.
They’d met in October 2006 when Elisabeth, 84, moved into the Atriums, an Overland Park retirement community. Frank, then 83, had lived there for a year.
The two had a lot in common: Both were married, and their spouses were ill. She grew up in Austria and Frank in Germany; both spoke German. Through their talks in the pool, they forged a solid friendship.
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Frank: “I was smitten with her mind. And we shared so many interests. We knew the same German songs and poems.”
Elisabeth: “Frank is charming and nice-looking. He’s caring, kind, understanding and wise. He sets a good example.”
The unfolding: Frank’s wife of 56 years died in late 2006. After a long illness, Elisabeth’s husband died in March 2013.
Grieving and in chaos, Elisabeth went to Topeka to visit her daughter. She wondered if Frank was still a regular at the pool. Then she realized how much she missed his company.
Frank missed her, too. When she returned to the Atriums’ pool, Frank happily said, “Elisabeth, you came back!”
The wedding: As the days passed, they felt more and more attracted to each other. By the end of June 2013, they knew they were in love. Frank invited her to move into his apartment, and she spontaneously said yes.
They were married Oct. 3, 2013, at the Atriums.
Favorite shared activities: They love speaking German, listening to classical music and being with each other. Frank also enjoys writing.
Careers: Frank was a synagogue administrator at the Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Elisabeth worked for TWA as a reservation agent. She later worked at the library at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods.
Family: Frank has two sons, four grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another due in May. Elisabeth has two daughters, three stepdaughters, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
What keeps their relationship strong: They’re interested in each other’s backgrounds, and they share common objectives and desires. They truly enjoy every moment together.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Elisabeth: “Frank is an amazing man. He’s a realist and keeps me grounded. I feel like I’ve known him forever. We bring out the best in each other.”
Frank: “Elisabeth is kindness personified. We have improved ourselves through our friendship and our marriage. I’ve never been so happy.”
Both like to tell people, “Love is possible.”
The final Star Magazine Love Stories will appear in Saturday FYI for the next few weeks.