Seniors Hiking

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are reminded that love stories come in many forms, each unique and beautiful in its own way. Today, we celebrate the extraordinary journey of Terry and Carol, whose love story has spanned decades and continues to shine brightly at Avamere.

Love at first sight

It was like love at first sight – Terry caught a glimpse of Carol at a football game in the small town of Medford, Oregon, with a population of about 26,000 at the time. He was captivated by her smile and asked a friend who she was. He called her the next day with a pickup line that Carol remembers to this day.

“Is this the flower of Barnet Road?” he asked. Barnet Road was the area Carol resided.

“Who on Earth is this weirdo?” Carol thought. But despite the strange first impression for Carol, she gave him a chance. Terry won her over, and they saw each other almost every day for six months.

Their first date was to the movies on November 27, 1962. Really taken with her, he said “Let’s get married!”

Carol responded that she barely knew him yet, to which he asked what she’d like to know.

“A million things, thank you!” Carol responded.

After six months of courtship, Terry and Carol got married on June 13, 1964. Several people asked them if this was unlucky, but they disagreed. Carol’s ring had arrived on the 13th too, so they claimed this as their lucky number.

Family life together

Terry is an artist, both as a career and personal hobby. He worked as a high school art teacher and spent many evenings doing ceramics at home. Carol initially wanted to be a teacher, but changed her career path while her kids were in junior high. She went to nursing school and worked as an RN in a trauma/recovery unit at Emanual for 20 years.

She remembers this phase of life being challenging, having two kids and only one car.

Their two daughters, Julie and Maria, both reside in Portland not far from Terry and Carol’s home in Beaverton. They are a family of women, also having three granddaughters, each carving unique paths in Amsterdam, Costa Rica, and pursuing a career in education in Portland.

Terry joked: “When a couple is about to have a baby, God looks down and decides if they need another man. If not, they send a girl.” Terry loves his daughters and granddaughters.

Treasured memories

Terry and Carol have wonderful memories together.

One of their funny memories happened at school drop-off while living in Germany. They lived in Germany for a year while Terry served as a teacher for the Department of Defense on the army base. Terry took their daughter Maria to Kindergarten. With a new school and new country, Maria clung to her dad’s leg and wouldn’t let go. The teacher stepped in, saying “just go” to Terry while she helped Maria.

Maria isn’t the only one clinging to Terry! His granddaughter Allison also loved clinging to his leg. He also has treasured memories of telling “talking stories” to his granddaughters and drawing faces on his fingers to make “finger men.” They loved hearing him make up stories.

As the couple reminisces on enjoyable memories, Terry remembers their beautiful home in Tigard, Oregon. Carol loves gardening and spent years transforming the front and back yard into a beautiful garden. He remembers looking out the window and tears coming to his eyes with how beautiful the flowers were.

Their love today

Carol describes Terry strong natured, artistic, and a funny man. Terry playfully characterizes Carol as being in constant motion as she stays busy and keeps their home immaculate.

As a couple that has been together over 60 years, they have advice for younger couples. Terry’s advice is telling of his beautiful view of Carol: “Marry someone beautiful, inside and out.” Carol shares that marrying someone with good instincts and a solid moral background is crucial for a lasting relationship.

Now residing at Avamere at Bethany in Beaverton, Oregon, Terry and Carol continue to enrich their lives. Carol leads craft time with fellow residents, supported by Sr. Life Enrichment Director Livia Thompson.

“She’s an integral part of our community,” Livia shared.

Carol and Terry love their life together at Avamere at Bethany. “I like being able to be my own person here,” Carol shared.

Terry adds that he’s glad to be free of the stress of taking care of things like maintenance, insurance, and other things. Carol agrees, saying those things become overwhelming as a person gets older. Here at Avamere at Bethany, they get to enjoy their retirement without worrying about home management projects.

Terry also shared how supportive the staff is. “Livia keeps this place going,” he said. “We’re happy to be here.”

Celebrating love

Valentine’s Day is a special holiday for Terry and Carol – as Carol’s maiden name is Valentine! Terry has always claimed this day as a national holiday for their family.

As we celebrate love this Valentine’s Day, may their journey inspire us to connect with those we love!