John skipped out on his first meeting with Virginia. Big mistake, as he soon found out.

“We were supposed to meet on a blind date, but he didn’t show up,” Virginia said. “So there I was, with two other couples, and he didn’t show up because his mother didn’t want him to. She had another girl picked out for him.”

But John got a favorable scouting report, which helped change his mind.

Said Virginia: “His best buddy called up and said, ‘John, you don’t know what a fool you are. You gotta get down here and see this girl.'”

“It was quite an endorsement” John said. “I will say, she was pretty attractive.”

Trying to make a good impression

It took a bit of work to undo his initial reluctance, but it proved to be well worth it.

“He kept coming back and coming back, and I said I wasn’t going to meet him again,” Virginia said. “But he kept coming back so much I finally gave in. Here it is, 65 years later.

John and Virginia have had a good life together. After meeting in Bay City, they lived in several places in Michigan, as well as in New Jersey, as John worked as an auditor for several newspapers.

While it proved to be a very good, steady career, it came with a price.

“I used to leave on Sunday night and come home on Thursday,” said John, talking about his days working the west side of Michigan for the Booth Newspapers chain. “She didn’t like it, she had three kids to take care of but it was a good outfit to work for.”

As they moved about (seven times) and had three children born in three different towns, they also knew it was eventually time to come back to Michigan as John and Virginia’s parents were getting up in age and experienced health issues. That’s when they settled in Sterling Heights.

On the road for work, on the road for vacation

While Virginia was able to travel quite a bit, going to Australia, Scotland and Hawaii, among other places, John was not as thrilled about travel. And with good reason.

“That was the problem, being a traveling auditor,” he said. “You’re gone so much, eating in restaurants. The employers were very reasonable with their travel and did well for me, but still, when you’re gone several days a week, your kids are growing up and you come home and hear what the kids have done during the week…It was a trial, a real challenge. ”

While it proved to be a lot of work, it turned out well. And because they invested all that time with the kids, Virginia said she has a real appreciation for being at Oakmont Sterling.

“Everybody is so wonderful to us here,” the grandmother of six said. “The cleaning and the food, I love it here. I think it’s the greatest thing on earth, to have my food cooked and no dishes to do.

“I did it for several years, so I’m ready for this.”