SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Love can be found in unexpected places and during unexpected times.
“We were not looking for companionship, love for anything,” said Judi Blankenbaker.
Judi, 74, and Larry Engman, 86, met while living at the Maravilla retirement community in Scottsdale. “When I saw her, of course, as you can see, I saw a beautiful woman,” said Larry.
“I thought he was handsome as could be. I was having dinner with two of my friends that live here and the wife said, 'oh look over there, this handsome man just moved in, let’s have him join us,'” said Judi.
Judi had lost her husband to cancer. Larry was divorced. While they both never planned to marry again, their connection was undeniable.
A drink at the community bar would lead to dinner and karaoke. “And it was kind of nice being stuck here together, that’s when we realized that living together and getting married would be great,” said Judy.
So they eloped in secret and revealed the news to friends and family over Zoom. “Nobody was surprised, we didn’t fool anybody,” said the couple.
“I think when you get up to be my age, at my advanced age, you know, you know when someone of quality comes into your life."
And the new Mrs. Engman feels that same. “There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for me, I love him for his heart and he’s pretty cute,” said Judi.
The newlyweds plan to travel and eat at a local fine dining restaurant when it finally becomes safe again.