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Senior Correspondent

We met in January, 1999, at a square dance club at the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. We both liked to dance and went as singles. Bill lived nearby, and Marge lived at The Beatitudes.

Our first date was to the Scottish Highland Games in Mesa on February 28. We went on to ballroom dancing at the Washington Adult Center. Our square and ballroom dancing took us to many other locations around the area and continued into 2005. Bill began to attend Marge’s church, the Valley Cathedral. We were steady volunteers in that church’s food pantry, and participated in various other church activities. Bill began to have Sunday dinner with Marge in the Arizona Room and has continued doing that over the past 12 years.

Marge had done extensive traveling in her younger days, including many destinations overseas. Bill liked traveling, too, so we started planning some trips. Most trips were to see family and friends; then we would add the best of the available local sightseeing. Two trips highlighted: 1999, the graduation of Bill’s son from San Diego State University and the 50th reunion of Bill’s high school class in Wheaton, Ill.

Over the next nine years we often traveled to California to see Bill’s children and their families. Special events in those trips included the graduation of a granddaughter from college, marriage of a grandson, and Bill’s 75th birthday celebration.

Marge’s home grounds around New Haven, Conn., were the destination for four trips. One trip included a huge family reunion followed by an excursion of Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. A marriage of one of Marge’s nieces gave us a superb trip to St. Louis.

We have enjoyed other trips around Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Arizona plus Salt Lake City, Branson, Las Vegas, and a 12-day outing to five islands of Hawaii.

Over the years we have experienced some major events together: In May 2000, Bill retired from almost 43 years with Sperry/Honeywell. Marge attended various work related events with Bill. In September 2000, Bill joined Marge’s bowling team at Chris-Town Lanes. Marge had to give up bowling, but Bill is still bowling on that same team. In the fall of 2006, we both moved our church affiliation from Valley Cathedral to Living Streams Church. In March 2007, Bill had bypass surgery on his heart. Marge helped Bill through the recovery process.

Over the Labor Day weekend 2008, we were visiting Bill’s daughter and family in Flagstaff. Marge fell and broke her right hip. She had hip replacement surgery in Flagstaff and came back to the Beatitudes for recovery. Bill was with Marge through this saga. For a time, we ran the Bingo games in Plaza View on Friday afternoons. We have attended the Campus New Year’s Eve Celebration every year since 1999.

In January 2009 Bill moved to the campus and took an apartment in the North Plaza Building. We see each other often. Marge has been unable to continue dancing as we used to do, but encourages Bill to dance — and he does. We have a regular schedule of eating out once each week, Sing-Along on Thursdays, and church plus Arizona Room dinners on Sunday. Since we met, we have been together every Sunday evening for supper and viewing of our favorite TV shows.

It has been an enjoyable and durable friendship that we plan to continue as long as we are able.

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