80 and Loving It, Brenham Couple Finds Love at the Retirement Home

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

80-year-old Laverne Starnes-Sanders is living the quiet life at the Kruse Retirement Village in Brenham.

She moved to the community over 20 years ago but after losing her husband of 50 years in 2000, life just wasn't the same.

"It was very hard," said Laverne.

80-year-old Ray Sanders was in the same boat after losing his wife to cancer just a few years back.

"I never really thought I'd find true love again," said Ray.

But a chance meeting at a water aerobics class blossomed into something these two birds of a feather never thought would take flight again.

"We were looking for friendship but our relationship grew," said Ray. "I sure am glad this came along."

Yes, Ray and Laverne found love at the retirement home.

"We got a kick out of trying to be real secretive about it," joked Ray.

Ray would head over to Laverne's house and he never forgot one particular item.

"Always brought a bottle of wine when I went on my two wheel scooter," said Ray with a laugh.

It's wasn't long before neighbors starting noticing Ray's ride at Laverne's, so the couple devised a little plan to keep their new found love on the down low.

"I put it in her garage when I got there," said Ray.

"And I pulled the door down," added Laverne with a laugh.

But their PDA started to become a hot topic.

"One morning we were hugging and the neighbor came up and asked what we were doing and Ray answered that he was holding me up so I wouldn't fall," said Laverne.

But falling for each other came quicker than they expected.

"As our relationship grew, well things changed," said Ray.

Now the couple who enjoys a glass of wine each evening can't keep their hands off of each other.

"It just seems like a natural thing to do when we're walking. Just to reach and get her hand," said Ray.

So with love in the air, Ray and Laverne decided to do something most 80 year old couples wouldn't, they got married.

"I think it keeps us young," said Ray.

But before saying "I do," Ray wanted to get the approval of his kids and more specifically Laverne's son Glenn-who happens to be a retired Marine.

Ray asked Glenn for his permission, and Glenn accepted Ray with open arms.

"You don't have to have my permission You guys are very much adults," said Glenn.

Now this happy couple enjoys their wine while staying young at heart.

"A year after they married, they're still holding hands," joked Glenn.

The couple plans on traveling this year. It's something Laverne didn't do much after her husband passed away.

Her son Glenn says he's incredibly happy with the fact that Ray has gotten his mother back out of her shell and living life again.


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