Virtual Valentine Dates Surprise Two Senior Couples in Real Love at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights

  • Joann and Ron Deatsch pictured on their wedding day more than 60 years ago are in for a big Valentine's surprise on February 12 at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights.

    Joann and Ron Deatsch pictured on their wedding day more than 60 years ago are in for a big Valentine's surprise on February 12 at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights.

Updated 2/11/2021 8:56 AM

Joann Deatsch and Mary Agnes Burckart, who receive specialized, memory care support at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights, are in for a big romantic Valentine's surprise . . . and so are their unsuspecting husbands!

Joann's husband, Ron, also lives at Aspired Living, but in assisted living. Mary Agnes' husband, Ed, lives in Arlington Heights with their daughter. The spouses have stayed apart for their health and safety during the pandemic, so the Aspired Living team and their daughters are surprising each couple with a virtual Valentine Zoom date -truly a first for these octogenarians!


The pre-Valentine's Day surprise kicks off the morning of Friday, Feb. 12, with a trip to the salon for Joann and Mary Agnes. "A little pampering will help them both look and feel their best with fresh hairdos, makeup and manicures for their virtual dates," said Megan McInerney, Aspired Living's A Knew Day Memory Support Manager, who spearheaded the romantic gesture for the only two married women in her care.

Being apart has been quite challenging for Joann and Ron, two high school sweethearts who have been married for 66 years, according to their daughter, Diane Cappis of Prospect Heights.

"Mom and dad's life has always been a true partnership," said Cappis. "They basically spent every moment of their marriage together."

After Joann and Ron married, they both worked full-time jobs and ran a farm in Iowa. In 1966, they sold the farm and opened a hardware store in Streeter, IL, where they worked side-by-side until the mid-1980s when they retired early and moved to Arizona.

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This Friday at 11:30 a.m. Ron will be surprised with his favorite lunch served along with a video screen showing his Valentine, Joann, who will enjoy the same meal. Holding hands across the table during COVID is not yet quite possible, but eye gazing is certainly on the menu!

Later Friday at 4:30 p.m., Mary Agnes and her longtime love, Ed, are in for a real treat! They will enjoy their virtual date with music playing a central role in re-connecting the two love birds.

When selecting the playlist to set the mood for the dinner date, their daughter, Mary Kay Bianchi, picked her mom's favorite 50s era showtunes, because her dad, who prefers jazz, really loves to hear her mom sing.

Hopefully, the Valentine surprise inspires Mary Agnes to sing for her hubby who she met back in college at DePaul University. "She was late to class and forget her freshman "beanie," and dad loaned her his so she wouldn't get in trouble," recalled Bianchi. "Mom had been a debutant with many suiters, and dad, as an engineer with his own car, was quite the big man on campus."


Cupid let your arrows fly Friday at Aspired Living!

About Aspired Living of Prospect Heights

Aspired Living of Prospect Heights, located at 708 N. Elmhurst Road, offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and A Knew Day Memory Support. Operated by Pathway to Living, Aspired Living of Prospect Heights helps residents find meaning and purpose in a healthy, safe and beautiful environment. For more information, visit the website here.

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