Happy Valentine’s Day
February is the most romantic of months and in honor of Valentine’s Day we asked two of our couples-in-love to tell us their love story.
“He was quite a salesman.” Wichita Presbyterian Manor couple found love in the Arizona sun.
When Wichita Presbyterian Manor residents Shelia Pilger and Don Bohlken first met one another, beautiful music was playing nearby.
“We met at a lounge next to a very nice restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona,” explained Don. “I had made my way from the bar area closer to the piano to listen to the music. That’s when Shelia and her friend walked in.”
Shelia had never been married and Don was divorced with a daughter who had just finished up at Arizona State. He had moved to Arizona to escape the icy winters of Chicago, where he’d been living while enjoying a successful career with IBM. An Iowa native, he was enjoying a break from the harsh midwestern winters.
Shelia, a K-State grad who grew up in Western Kansas, had received a master’s degree from Arizona State and had remained in the southwest, working in a corporate job. She wasn’t necessarily looking for love when she met Don that day near the piano.
“He was quite a salesman,” Shelia laughed. “He put on the ultimate campaign.”
“I did whatever I could to win her over in the days and weeks that followed,” Don said. “That included a hot air balloon ride and some very fine dining.”
Don’s romantic efforts paid off and the couple was married 39 years ago this past December. Over the years, the pair has enjoyed traveling together. Shelia even found success in the field of real estate, thanks to another “sales pitch” from her husband.
“I never would have imagined myself in real estate,” she said. “I had spent many years in corporate America, but Don convinced me to give it a shot. I really enjoyed it!”
Here at Wichita Presbyterian Manor, they enjoy exercise classes, lunch outings and bus trips to the theatre. Don enjoys coffee and has benefited greatly from physical therapy.
A life grounded in faith has been well-spent for Ray and Ginny Eckman
Ray and Ginny Eckman moved to Wichita Presbyterian Manor in August of 2022, but their love story began in a church group for young adults in the early 1950’s.
“We just knew this was the right relationship for us,” Ginny Eckman explained.
A story that began in church has always been grounded in faith. Wherever they’ve lived, the pair has always been active in their faith life. They married in Lombard, Illinois at the Lombard Bible Church in 1954 and have maintained a strong relationship with the Lord.
“We’re thankful to the Lord for our marriage and that we’re still enjoying life together,” said Eckman.
Their marriage has blessed them with 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. One daughter is close by in Wichita, another is in Arkansas, while their two sons make their homes in Indiana and New York.
Here at the manor, Ray Eckman enjoys meeting new people at the Bistro.
“It’s a great place to meet folks,” he said.
The pair also has a long history of enjoying time together on the golf course.
“He golfed before we met,” Ginny Eckman explained. “I learned afterwards, and we’ve played some wonderful courses together over the years.”
Overall, both Ray and Ginny say they’re thankful for everything they have. They enjoy doing puzzles together as well as reading.