Advanced Love: Evita and Hans Dating at 97

My husband passed away in 2000 after a “beautiful marriage” of 44 years. Adapting to my new life alone I decided to move closer to my daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren in Santa Rosa. As time went by I desired a more active social life and companionship. One day I visualized not being alone and I made a list and talked to the man upstairs. “Number 1, he must be a widower who had had a happy marriage. Number 2, he must be a gentleman-respectful and loving.”

Two days later I received a card from Varenna at Foutaingrove retirement community inviting me to lunch. I was so impressed by what they had to offer that I immediately decided to sell my home in Santa Rose and become a resident of the community. While waiting for the house to sell I attended one of Varenna’s monthly parties called “Sip and Savor”
While I was at the party, this very nice-looking gentleman made eye contact with me. When he heard I was going to move in, he said, “may I call you?” and I replied with a smile, “that would be nice.”

Hans and I have been constant companions ever since. I’m 97 and he is 12 years my junior, anyone my own age wouldn’t be able to keep up! We have been on hot air balloon rides, road trips, and zip lined through the treetops together. We speak freely about our former spouses. We do love them, but we let them go. However, we feel that they are still with us in spirit and that they approve of our relationship. So it’s a beautiful discussion about our past experiences. You can love people and miss them, but you can’t bring them back. And they would want you to move forward and find love like you had.”-Evita

If you know of any great couples for my Advanced Love project please email


  • Noemi Margit-Bako

    How romantic ! Wish them the best.

  • Mary Anne

    Thank you for writing and posting this beautiful story. I love Evita’s description of how we can move on after the loss of a love: they are still with us in spirit and shouldn’t be forgotten but we have to carry on and live life to the fullest whilst we are here. I wish both of them a future filled with exciting moments.

  • ID439276

    What a great story.

  • Risa Jackinsky

    Truly marvelous!

  • Russell Brauer

    what a lovely inspiring story

  • This reminds me that I really should have a very stylish pair of stilettos.

  • Nurse Bennett

    Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story. A close friend’s husband died about 10 years ago and recently I visited her (I’ve since moved to another area) and found her looking well and happy. Sincerely stating, “you look really good, Wanda”,she replied, “I try to remember that it was Perry who died, not me.” Yes! Perfect attitude! Love them best by continuing to live!

  • I want to be her friend!!

  • SunDapple

    Hope these two, and the Fountaingrove retirement community, survived the Santa Rosa fires. Wishing them much happiness.

  • Bonnie Schulte

    Beautiful story. Charming couple..

  • Jolanta Zdanowska

    What a beautiful story. The photo is great too!