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Every Still Hopes resident has an amazing story, and these three couples are no different. We asked each of them about how they met, their favorite dates, and how they keep the romance alive. 
 
Lee and Julian Minghi

Lee and Julian Minghi met as graduate students at the University of Wisconsin in January 1960. Their first date was simple - a pint at the student union - but the rest of their courtship and marriage was anything but…

Their next date, the first of many adventures, was traipsing the snowy campus, taking pictures of their winter wonderland. Valentine’s Day brought their first road trip, and foreshadowed a proposal on Friday, May 13, culminating in their wedding on September 7 in Washington D.C. As if their whirlwind courtship was not enough, they spent the next week, their honeymoon, driving across the country to Seattle just in time for the fall term at the University of Wisconsin.

As an academic political geographer, Julian’s career took them to various foreign countries: Vancouver, Canada and Six European locations. One holiday spot they fell in love with was Lake Bled, Slovenia. First visited in 1962, they would return many times. Their most memorable “date” was their 50th vow renewal there in 2010 with the lake, mountains and a storybook castle for a backdrop, witnessed by their closest family and friends.

While life has been full of adventures, Lee and Julian have come to relish the little things. Whether it’s bringing each other coffee in bed, or remembering, reliving and celebrating the year’s big and small events while collaborating on their annual Christmas letter, the Minghis say their secret to lifelong love has never changed from that first date.

“Our aim is to treasure each other, also to laugh at any opportunity, each not forgetting oneself as an ever-increasing source of merriment,” said Lee. “We feel incredibly lucky to have shared so much, survived the dreadful downsizing, and look forward to embarking together on our latest adventure at Still Hopes.”

 

Philip and Eleanor Whitehead

The Whiteheads met as summer camp staff in 1956. It was everyone’s night off, so their entire crew rode along the Gulf coast into Tallahassee to catch a movie. Philip and Eleanor rode back together.

“It was more than 30 miles in the back of a pickup truck in the moonlight, so it really gave us the chance to begin to get to know each other,” said Philip.

Philip and Eleanor have been married 60 years now, and they say their secret to keeping the romance alive is spontaneity. Whether it’s Philip whisking Eleanor away for a surprise trip to Charleston or a mountain B&B, or surprising another couple out on their date night by picking up the tab, the Whiteheads like to keep each other guessing over what’s next. 

Not even Covid has stopped the spontaneity, you might even spot them on a random Tuesday enjoying a riverfront picnic. Philip’s advice - you have to “make opportunities for sharing special times and places.”

 

Richard and Cynthia Murphy

Richard and Cynthia Murphy have been married since December 1972. They met at a pool party for “Parents Without Partners” in New Jersey. Richard was immediately smitten with Cynthia. All he knew was her name and the apartment complex where she lived, and he happened to notice the car she drove.

“A couple days later, while sitting outside with my upstairs neighbor, lo and behold, he drove by and spotted me,” said Cynthia.  “He had been driving through the complex looking for my car!  Needless to say, I was shocked to see him. He stopped, and after a short visit asked me on a date.”

That first date led to a second at Valley Forge Historical Park, and that’s when Richard told her he was in love. It was also Cynthia’s all-time favorite date. They were married by that December.

Richard and Cynthia say the romance is based on a strong friendship - and that they truly enjoy each other’s company above all others. And their advice for a long and happy marriage is being grateful for the most important things, their shared Christian faith, good health, family and friends.

Richard and Cynthia are also grateful for their family here at Still Hopes Retirement Community.

 “Now in our senior years, we are enjoying being pampered here at Still Hopes, and making many new friends and acquaintances,” said Cynthia. “We are truly thankful for all the blessings we've had over the years.”