A New Love

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By Linda D. Scott

I first spoke with Janet Snyder on the phone about a month before Christmas. What I remember most is the pure joy I heard in her voice as she told me about Ken Hill and how they met. I could hear the love and happiness in her voice. When I finally met them a few days before Christmas, I could tell by the way they related to one another that what they felt was real.

Janet Snyder, 77, met Ken Hill, now 94, on July 14, 2017. Janet and Ken had spoken on the telephone on numerous occasions and he had told Janet he was “looking for a lady.” Janet was not interested at the time, and had told him he would not like her because she “has no hair.” Actually she has beautiful and fashionable short white hair. On that July day, she and her friend Alberta were sent to a church food bank to check on some donated food. When they arrived at the food bank, Ken Hill introduced himself. Alberta states, “Ken was very charming. He walked up to her and said, ‘I love your hair’.” After giving the ladies a tour of the food bank, he invited them both to lunch. The lunch was extremely successful. By the time it was over, Ken and Janet were on their way to becoming a couple.

Janet and Ken have traveled many of the same paths throughout the years. They were both stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia, Ken after WWII when it was known as Camp Lee and Janet after the Viet Nam War. Her husband was a quartermaster as was Ken. They were both married for 52 years, and both spouses had Alzheimer’s disease, both kept their spouses at home and cared for them until their lives ended. These two people have been assets to the communities throughout the years. Ken, a retired Professor of Marriages, founded the College of Southern Nevada in 1973. Janet started the Society of Military Widows Chapter 34. After she fell in love with Ken, she resigned her position as National President of the Nevada Military Widows organization during the convention, stating, “I am choosing love”.

Seven short months later, they are living together and very happy. They said that all of their children are supportive of them and their relationship. They have no plans to marry because they feel no need to do so.

Thinking about these two people after interviewing them, I have drawn a few conclusions. First, there is no age or time limit on falling in love. Secondly, their relationship has moved forward very quickly possibly because young people have the benefit of more time. There is plenty of time for long courtships when you are 20, but the older we get, the shorter time becomes. Also, most seniors probably recognize what they want and need a lot faster because they have experienced what they do not want or need. Janet and Ken have decided to love each other and live full lives until whenever. Mostly, they have decided to be happy.

I wish them all of the luck and happiness they deserve and hope their first Valentines Day is a joyous one.

Have a Happy Valentines Day, everyone. We appreciate your service.