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MOUNT PLEASANT — Residents at Primrose Senior Living Retirement Community know a thing or two about love. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, they share the best-kept secrets and love advice that only those with years of life experience could give. 

Valentine’s Day love advice for everyone

Whether you are happily married, single, engaged, exploring the world of dating, or learning to love yourself this Valentine’s Day, the advice they give can be applied to your situation. 

Here’s what they have to say: 

1. Just keep smiling

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
Bud Goodrich says the key to good relationship is to “Just keep smiling.” – Credit: Emma Widmar

Bud Goodrich believes that to have love and to keep love, you have to just keep smiling.

He’s been married to Caroline Wozinak for the past 20-and-a-half years. Both lost their spouses prior to meeting each other, but despite their losses, they found love again with each other.

Goodrich, who lives in the retirement center, enjoys his wife’s company each day when she visits.

No matter where you are at in your relationship, Bud’s love advice is, “just keep smiling.”

2. Communicate

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
Jim Smith’s Valentine’s Day advice to the community is to communicate. – Credit: Emma Widmar

Jim Smith says you have to “love, love, love, communicate, communicate, and communicate,” in order to have a strong relationship.

Smith knows that lasting love takes hard work and effort. He was married for 42 years and then remarried for 17 1/2 years.

While now a widower, even during difficult times, Smith says, “you go on.”

This Valentine’s Day, he encourages people to focus on loving and communicating as his love advice.

3. Experience life together

Not pictured, but full of wisdom is Joanne Asdigian.

She was married to her husband, John, for 60-something years. He’s been gone almost a year. Looking back, she vividly remembers their memories.

From the start their relationship, their life together was full of experiences. Their first date was a picnic, and through the years, they experienced a lot of adventures. They enjoyed traveling with one another. Joanne recalls going on cruises, vacations, and many other travels.

“We had a lot of good times together,” says Joanne.

Joanne’s love advice? For a life full of love and closeness, she encourages people to travel and experience life together.

4. Always kiss before bed

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
Audrey and Dick Keen always kiss before bed. They encourage people to follow their lead. – Credit: Emma Widmar

Dick and Audrey Keehn happily live together at Primrose. They’ve been together for 62 years.

Fate brought the two together. While not originally from Chicago, they both transplanted there and met because they lived in the same apartment building.

The couple moved to Racine due to Dick’s job. He was an economics professor at UW-Parkside for 30 years.

The Keehns raised three children together. They were avid bikers and loved spending time in Door County, Wis. with each other.

“Our greatest achievement is our kids,” says Audrey.

Dick explains that patience for each other is the key to marriage. Audrey notes she always tries her best to look on the bright side of things in life. No matter where they were in life, they always kiss each other before bed.

Audrey explains why a kiss before bed is important: “we were always happy before we went to bed.”

A simple token of their love for each other before bed – a kiss – is this couple’s love advice, and it has kept the couple’s marriage strong.

5. Trust each other

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
Jan explains they went to the church and said “we would like to get married the first Saturday that’s open” after graduation. – Credit: Emma Widmar

The foundation of Marian and Richard Beyer’s relationship was their trust. They were married for 68 years. While Richard passed in 2016, his wife, Marian, who is a resident at Primrose, will never forget the love of her life.

“I’ll stay married forever, even if he’s gone,” explains Marian.

Richard was Marian’s neighbor. Richard was also a good friend of Marian’s brother.

They grew up and went through many life phases together. They went to school, got married, and had five children together.

Richard was a businessman and Marian worked in advertising.

“He was in sales, so he traveled and I was home with the children,” says Marian, “but we communicated.”

Their communication kept them united.

“Today, I think it’s a little more difficult, maybe, because there’s so much more going on,” comments Beyer.

She misses her love this Valentine’s Day, but offers this love advice to others: to trust each other so they can experience everlasting love too.

6. Just love each other

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
Jan believes that when you find the one, it’s easy. This Valentine’s Day, she says to just love your partner. – Credit: Emma Widmar

Jan Feest was married to her husband Ray for 67 years. They were childhood sweethearts, meeting when they were just in the fifth grade.

When Jan moved from Kenosha to Racine, Ray introduced himself one day as Jan was playing outside. They attended school together and were united in marriage at 18 years old.

Jan explains that her mom would not allow them to get married until they graduated high school. Jan explains they went to the church and said “we would like to get married the first Saturday that’s open” after graduation.

So they did and they built a life they loved. They had a house together and nine children.

To Jan, loving Ray was easy. She believes love is the key. This Valentine’s Day, Jan’s love advice is simple.

“When you love each other, it just happens,” says Feest.

It’s been three years since her love passed, but every day, she’s thankful for their relationship.

7. Respect each other and have faith

Primrose Valentine's Day advice
John explains that respect and faith were key factors in his successful marriage. – Credit: Emma Widmar

John Foreman M.D. has been a widower for six years, but looking back on his marriage, he believes respect and faith were at the forefront.

Foreman, a Pediatrician for 34 years in Racine, had been previously divorced. His pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 40 Ohio St., had a hand in setting him up with the love of his life. Darlene played the organ at church.

“After I was divorced and alone, it was the pastor who recommended that the two of us together. That lasted until she passed away. It was really great,” explains Foreman.

Their 22-year marriage was strong because of respect, which is why he chose it for his piece of love advice.

“We respected each other. She liked the fact that I was a physician and took care of little ones. I liked the fact that she worked in the police department,” explains John.

He says in life, in their activities, and in their faith, they had respect for one another. Respect was the glue to their relationship.


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