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Silvergate wedding a first - Couple finds love at 84 years young


Last updated 11/8/2007 at Noon

Patricia Grant and Herman Schertel, both 84 and both (separately) residents of Silvergate Retirement Residence in Fallbrook, have “fallen in love” after each losing their spouses. The marriage, which is the first for the retirement residence, took place on Sunday, November 4, in the Silvergate social hall.

Best Man was Phil Leveque, Herman’s brother-in-law, and Nikki Huelsenbeck, daughter of the bride, served as Matron of Honor.

Huelsenbeck commented that neither Patricia nor Herman thought they would ever have a chance at love again. Patricia’s husband passed away in 2006, which is when she decided to experience life at Silvergate. Herman’s wife had also passed on. Each has four children, which makes for a rather large blended family.

The Silvergate social hall cooperated with the wedding’s fall theme with its pumpkin-hued walls. The bride’s bouquet was arranged with peach-colored roses, yellow daisies and chrysanthemums.

Fallbrook Trading Company lent the couple a large set of metal candelabra, which were decorated with gauzy peach bows and gold candles.

A white runner traced the center of the aisle and fall leaves and faux rose petals were scattered about the surface. Chairs were draped with yellow tulle and gold bows.

Pastor Phil Tukua of Christ The King Lutheran, Patricia and Herman’s church, presided over the ceremony and also sang a moving rendition of “The Wedding Song.” There was standing room only in the large room as the bride and groom exchanged vows. Patricia was radiant in a lovely peach sequined blouse and gauzy white slacks.

“I counseled them and they passed,” said Pastor Phil to the congregation during the ceremony.

“I think it is awesome that these two people have found love again,” Pastor Phil commented in an after-ceremony interview. “These are both Christian people and they want to worship the Lord together…they both had solid marriages before and it is neat when they can find love again.”

Patricia and Herman met at the Country Store in Silvergate, where she was doing volunteer work. Herman approached her and started a conversation. “It was love at first sight,” he said.

“I was so fortunate it was me,” Patricia added.

After their first meeting Herman heard that Patricia was going on a cruise and he set a vase with two flowers at her dinner place. An accompanying card read, “Bon Voyage,” with no signature. After Patricia’s initial surprise, Herman approached her and told her it was he who gave the flowers. Patricia exclaimed, “I’m so glad it was you!”

The Vagabonds, a band that has swing and jazz tunes among their repertoire, entertained the guests after the ceremony. Claire Ward, in her 90s, is the band’s leader and also plays the piano. The group’s drummer is Carl Warren and Eddie Kruck plays the trumpet and the vibes.


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