You can really let your retirement lifestyle take flight at Blue Skies of Texas, but would you figure that this is a place where your love life could take off as well? Believe it or not, we’re home to numerous couples who met here, fell in love and got married! And we’re excited to share a couple of their stories with you.
MARTHA AND FRED: STARTED WITH SMALL TALK
Fred Glauner has lived at Blue Skies of Texas since 2013, and Martha moved here in 2017. Their love story began in spring of 2018, just before one of the birthday and anniversary (B&A) dinner celebrations that we host each month.
“I was standing there with some of my neighbors at the happy hour prior to the dinner, and up came this good-looking guy,” Martha said. “It was Fred, and we struck up a conversation, then he went on to talk to some of his friends.”
“Martha claims that I ran off without saying goodbye!” Fred joked.
“In the days after the B&A dinner, I asked around to find out more about Fred, and he came highly recommended,” Martha said. “We ended up being reunited at the on-campus concert that weekend, when I wittingly asked Fred, ‘What happened to you, why did you run off?’”
Well, Fred stuck around that time, and promptly asked Martha out for lunch.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“We got married here on campus at the chapel, in August of 2018,” Martha said. “Everyone here was invited and of course our families and friends were there. It was a beautiful, memorable ceremony. We had a full house!”
Bob Certain, an Episcopal priest who is a fellow neighbor of the Glauners, helped lead the ceremony, along with Protestant pastor Gil Richardson, an Army vet and West Pointer like Fred. Bob Certain’s wife, Robbie, helped arrange the flowers for the altar and for Martha’s bouquet. Robbie also stood at the altar beside Martha.
“I selected a song for the choir to sing at the wedding, ‘Walk Hand in Hand With Me,’ and we felt completely wedded in God’s sight!” Martha shared.
Today, people at Blue Skies of Texas know Fred and Martha as the couple who walk hand in hand together around campus, where they find themselves staying busy with many pursuits.
Fred said they like to take Zumba classes three times a week, go line dancing twice a week and take regular walks (holding hands, of course). Martha, who is very musically inclined, is part of several music groups at Blue Skies: the Village Voices choir, ukulele band, handbells group and she even performs the occasional guitar solo at church.
“This is a happy place,” Martha said. “People are active, not just sitting around. People go to classes and go do things, which really caught my attention when I first came here. And people are so open to friendships. Even though I didn’t come here looking for another beau, the opportunity to have this good-looking guy [Fred] as a friend was very nice!”
NANCY AND STUMP: FROM ONLINE TO IN LOVE
Daniel “Stump” Sowada has lived here at Blue Skies of Texas since 2012. He met Nancy in 2014, even though she lived a couple of hours away at the time. So, what brought them together? The power of the internet!
“We met on eharmony,” Stump said. “I met this beautiful woman from Beeville [about two hours south of San Antonio], and we corresponded for a while, until my computer broke—even though Nancy doesn’t believe that part.”
“It took him long enough to get back in touch!” Nancy cracked. “We reconnected, and it’s amazing how compatible we are. A few months after we met, I moved to a different senior living community in San Antonio about 15 minutes away from Stump.”
After a few years of dating, Nancy moved to Blue Skies of Texas in May 2018. She did so not only to be closer to Stump, but also because she saw the benefits of living at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) like Blue Skies.
“From my experience, the options were to stay in your house, move in with relatives, or wait even longer and move to a nursing home,” Nancy lamented. “But fortunately, Blue Skies of Texas is here and has so many advantages over all the other options.”
Now that they lived in the same place (albeit in separate residences), Nancy and Stump’s love story could really blossom—which happened due to an unexpected twist.
“Our love story took off, believe it or not, after Stump had a stroke,” Nancy said. “At about 5:30 a.m. on October 31, 2018, Stump had a hemorrhagic stroke. We were at my cottage and fortunately, there is always an ambulance here on campus. Within minutes, Stump was at the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Methodist Hospital.”
After completing outpatient rehabilitation, Stump moved back to The Mission, Blue Skies of Texas’ skilled nursing center. Then after about two weeks, he returned to his cottage.
During that difficult time, Nancy and Stump spent a lot of time together, which was key to helping their relationship grow.
“Both of us have gone through divorce and also the death of a spouse, so we had not wanted to get married before his stroke,” Nancy explained. “We had time to talk while he was in recovery and rehabilitation from the stroke and we decided that we do love each other and really wanted to make the Christian commitment to each other through marriage. So, we went through the financial and legal steps to do just that!”
Nancy and Stump officially got married on March 12, 2019, at the office of the Justice of the Peace on the north side of San Antonio. They later had a Catholic marriage ceremony on April 28, 2020, on campus at the Blue Skies of Texas chapel, just like Fred and Martha.
Nancy and Stump still plan to have a large wedding ceremony and reception when the pandemic allows for it, and they hope to have a full house like their neighbors Fred and Martha had. With Blue Skies of Texas’ COVID-19 vaccination efforts underway, they have reason to be encouraged that they can have their big ceremony before too long!
Until then, the Sowadas will continue to stay active and involved in many pursuits available here at Blue Skies. Nancy is the director of the Village Voices choir (in which she sings with Martha and Stump), and the pair are both active in other Catholic choirs both on and off campus. And although he no longer wrestles—the sport that got him his nickname as an intramural athlete at Air Force Academy—Stump is a member of Blue Skies of Texas’ Wheelmen cycling club and is also a past president of the on-campus Catholic Council.
Whether you’re looking for like-minded friends to connect and enjoy life with—or much, much more than that—it’s possible to find what you’re looking for at Blue Skies of Texas. We encourage you to learn more about this welcoming community by exploring our info kit, which you can download by clicking here or request by calling 866-553-5389 today.