Aurora Pond residents find second chance at happiness in heartwarming love story
John Stoutjesdyk and Phyllis Thwaites met at Holiday Retirement’s Aurora Pond
community almost three years ago. Although they didn’t know it yet, they would change each other’s lives forever.
John moved to Aurora Pond nearly five years ago, just after his wife passed away. He did his best to keep in good spirits around the Michigan senior living community, but all along, John was looking for a friend. Two years later, Phyllis arrived. And nearly three years ago, John and Phyllis learned a valuable lesson that’s been proven time and again at Holiday Retirement communities: you’re never too old to fall in love
“I remember it all too well,” said Phyllis with a delighted smile. “I was standing in the dining room doorway on the first day that I moved in, feeling lost, when John came to rescue me. He ushered me to a table where he was sitting, and the rest is history.”
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Before arriving at Aurora Pond, John and Phyllis both lived and worked in Grand Rapids, Mich. John worked as a nurse’s aid with the veteran’s facility, and Phyllis was an elementary school teacher for 13 years.
“They’re such a sweet couple, and two of the nicest people you could ever meet,” said Pamela Eerdmans, enrichment coordinator at Aurora Pond. “Ever since Phyllis arrived here at Aurora Pond, John’s been such a gentleman, and more joyful than we’d ever seen him before.”
John and Phyllis can truly say their lives turned around once they called Aurora Pond home.
John and Phyllis’ fellow residents helped them celebrate their new love in 2015 when John and Phyllis were voted Homecoming King and Queen at the retirement community. The annual homecoming dance is a youthful tradition at Aurora Pond, and it certainly made these two lovebirds feel young again.
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