“Dad, before you date anyone else, I want you to call Ruth Barone and ask her out for dinner.”
Joe Gorenc, 73, usually listened to his daughter. So in December 2012, when she urged him to date the widowed mother of her longtime friend, Joe agreed. He’d seen Ruth years ago, mostly from a distance at some school event, and thought she was an attractive, classy lady.
Though Joe had dated since his wife died, he had yet to meet the right person.
Ruth, 70, had been a widow since she was 54 and had never wanted to date; she was afraid of making a commitment. Instead, she focused on work.
But she agreed to have dinner with Joe.
Ruth: “Joe was cute and easy to talk to. He had a kind heart, and we liked the same things. I was thrilled when he asked me out again.”
Joe: “Ruth was attractive, college-educated and smart. She’s a business lady, and that appealed to me.”
The unfolding: They began seeing each other and soon fell in love. “When you’re our age and meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to begin now,” Ruth says.
Within eight months, they were living together. Soon, Joe and his daughter were looking for engagement rings.
The proposal and wedding: One night in November 2013, the couple were at home when Joe said, “Hey, Ruth. I’ve been thinking we ought to get married.” He pulled out a small box that held a beautiful ring.
Ruth was totally surprised. “He blew my socks off,” she says.
They were married May 30 in Leawood. The monsignor at Ruth’s church told her, “Ruth, God had a plan for you, and it was Joe.”
Favorite shared activities: They enjoy traveling and watching movies, sports and symphony performances.
Careers: Ruth is co-owner of Noel’s Fine Gifts in Leawood. Joe is retired from Armco Steel, where he worked in management and sales.
Family: Ruth and Joe live in Overland Park. Ruth has two children and four grandchildren. Joe has two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
What keeps their relationship strong: They frequently express their affection. They keep active and enjoy every hour of every day.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Joe: “Ruth is intelligent, low-key and gentle. She is very loving and caring to me and to her family.”
Ruth: “Joe is sweet and caring and has a great soul. He is the love of my life.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.