How two 80-year-olds found love again at Summit Vista senior living community
Mar 09, 2020 02:25PM
● By Carl Fauver
Louise and Brent didn’t know each other when they moved into the Summit Vista senior living community. But they found one another and married at the residence in December. (Debbie White/Summit Vista)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
Just 14 months after opening, Summit Vista senior living center (3390 West 6200 South) hosted its first wedding last December. The two octogenarians joined in holy matrimony, after moving into the growing center several months apart.
After losing her husband of many years in 2015, longtime Taylorsville resident Louise Lloyd, 83, decided to get a fresh start in her life by moving to Summit Vista.
“I was number six moving in here, right as it opened in October 2018,” she said.
Lloyd made a short move, from one Taylorsville location to another. But the path that brought Brent Widney, 87, to Summit Vista was more circuitous.
“I was living with my wife in Texas, but we moved to Heber City, in June 2018, so she could receive specialized memory care, at the Abbington Senior Community there,” Widney said. “We also made the move because I have family in Park City and a brother in Salt Lake.”
Eight months later, Widney lost his wife of 64 years. Two months after that, last April, he shifted to Summit Vista.
“The first few months I lived here, Louise and I did not know each other,” Widney said. “Then one day we met in the gym and went to lunch together. Our first date was in October. And once we started kissing, things moved along.”
“I knew they were striking up a good friendship, because Brent usually stops into my office about every day to say hi,” Summit Vista Community Life Coordinator Debbie White said. “He finally spilled the beans that he had made a lady friend and they were going dancing at the Murray Dance Studio.”
Dating was one thing. But when the couple decided to wed, they turned to their Summit Vista staff friends — and the scrambling began.
“It was Christmastime, and we already had 60 events scheduled on site when they told us they wanted to marry here on Saturday, Dec. 14,” White said. “We had a ‘breakfast with Santa’ planned that morning and another big event that night. But luckily, we have a big place. We just made it work.”
Months earlier, an archway had been constructed for a different Summit Vista event. So, employee Sandy Conner was tasked with transforming it into a wedding arch. She also fashioned the bridal bouquet.
The wedding was held in the center’s “Broadford Bistro,” a fine-dining restaurant on the second floor of the Aspen Meadows Clubhouse (Summit Vista’s only clubhouse currently but scheduled to one day be the first of five clubhouses on the 100-acre property).
Ahead of the blessed day, White took wedding photos and used them to create signs around the center, inviting residents to attend the nuptials. She said most of center’s 189 residents showed up to wish the couple well and to partake in the cookies and punch.
“One of our residents, Mike Packham, played the wedding march on the piano; it was your classic, elegant wedding,” White said.
Before moving into Summit Vista, Louise shared a backyard fence with Lynette Wendel, who also attended the wedding.
“It was a lovely, brief ceremony, and I am so happy for Louise,” Wendel said. “I know she was very lonely (after her husband passed), and I am so pleased they found each other. And so many residents attended. It was wonderful.”
“When I moved in here, it never occurred to me I would remarry,” Widney said. “But Louise changed my mind. She’s such a beautiful lady, so talented. We fell in love like a couple of teenagers.”
Finally, Lloyd made it clear the only reason she was agreeing to have her marriage discussed in the newspaper is because she wanted to express gratitude to the Summit Vista staff.
“They were so helpful and so kind,” she said. “They did all of this for us and did not charge us anything extra for any of it. They are wonderful, and we would do anything to pay them back.”