“We missed you at bridge,” Bonnie Granger told Jack Phillips. It was the fall of 2009, and Jack, 86, had been traveling that summer. He’d just returned to the Platte County Senior Center, which is near Kansas City International Airport.
He was fairly new there and hadn’t previously noticed Bonnie, 81. But he saw she was a nice-looking lady and invited her out to dinner.
Bonnie: “Jack was tall, with a great sense of humor. He always looked nice and was a good bridge player.”
Jack: “Bonnie was easy to talk to.”
The unfolding: During their first date, they got to know each other and discovered many things in common. They had both cared for ill spouses, and their spouses had passed away in different years but on the same day. They went to the same dentist. And both had declared they’d never get married again.
Despite that, they enjoyed each other’s company and began dating. Within weeks, Bonnie told her daughter, “I really like Jack.”
The proposal and wedding: Jack liked Bonnie as well. In mid-December 2009 he gave her a beautiful ring. Bonnie told him, “If you don’t propose, I’ll have the best cocktail ring in KC.”
On New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight, Jack kissed Bonnie and asked, “Will you marry me?” They were wed on a cruise ship off the shores of Scotland on June 30, 2010.
Favorite shared activities and hobbies: They enjoy playing bridge (of course), traveling, attending concerts and going to dinner theater.
Careers and family: Jack retired from the Corps of Engineers; Bonnie retired from working as an internal auditor. They live in Kansas City, North. Bonnie has two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jack had four children, one of whom died. He has 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
What keeps their relationship strong and growing: “We like to do things together,” Jack says. They frequently express their love and affection, always sharing a kiss in the morning and at night. They want to help and support each other.
“We have a lot in common, even though we’re from different counties,” Jack jokes.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Bonnie: “Jack is a good man. He’s religious and he’s a family man. I married him because he’s so witty and I wanted to laugh for the rest of my life.”
Jack: “I don’t know what I’d do without Bonnie. She takes care of me and is my wife, friend and lover.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.