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Spreading the Love at Emerald Heights

October 30, 2020

Senior living communities all over the U.S. have found creative ways to stay connected and entertained while social distancing, but the staff and residents at Emerald Heights have been especially focused on spreading the love.

The Wedding Wall

One of many ideas the Emerald Heights Gallery Wall Committee developed during this time was to create a Wedding Wall. Residents were asked to share their wedding photos to be posted on a 65-foot long community wall, some of which dated back to more than 65 years ago, ranging in shades of faded black and white.

The committee collected 67 photos that were hung for the residents to guess which resident was in the wedding photo. The challenge lasted for several weeks until all of the names were placed alongside the beautiful photos.

The special wedding love being spread throughout the community came shortly after Grant Linacre, the Executive Director of Emerald Heights, celebrated his marriage over the summer.

Grant and his wife, Heather met over three years ago on a blind date and the two instantly fell in love. After planning a traditionally large wedding, COVID-19 regulations came into play and the couple had three weeks to completely restructure their big day. The wedding was pared down to 20 of their closest family, the venue was replaced by a small boat taking them to the San Juan Islands, and the reception turned into one of the most magical whale-watching trips the family could’ve imagined.

Spreading the Love Wedding Wall at Emerald Heights

Aside from the stress of having to create a back-up plan, the two said their wedding became perfectly intimate and something they could not have planned – a sunset in the middle of the bay with multiple pods of Orca whales making a splash around them.

Returning from their celebration, Grant and Heather received decorated paper bags filled with wonderful handwritten letters that provided marriage advice from many residents who had been together for decades.

Three perfect examples of those spreading their love through the community on the Wedding Wall are:

18. Myrt and Hugh Knapp have been married for 65 years. The two met in college when Hugh was 21 and Myrt, 19. They have lived in the Redmond area for over 60 years and have been blessed with four children and eight grandchildren. Their marriage has given them decades of love and happiness and they are looking forward to many more years together.

Spreading the Love Wedding Wall at Emerald Heights

19. Karlee and Jim Guthree met at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1959 and got married in 1963. They have two children, one in Florida and one in Washington. After living in Maryland for 44 years, the two decided to relocate to the west coast to accompany their granddaughter and grandson. They said choosing Emerald Heights was one of the best decisions they ever made.

20. Evelyn and Dick Pizzo met in Oregon and have been married for 56 years. The two were introduced on April 8th and then married on September 8, 1962, never missing a day in between that they didn’t see each other or talk on the phone. Some didn’t believe the two would last because they were both set so strongly in their own ways, but they proved that their marriage was loving and healthy. They have three children and four grandchildren.

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