MIDLAND, Texas — Love is patient, love is kind. That can’t be more true for 92-year-old Ross Champion and 83-year-old Marilyn Brewer Smith, two residents of Polo Park Estates.
Marilyn and Ross are in love, and they fell in love right in this retirement community.
"My first day here," Marilyn Brewer Smith said. "He [Ross] just stood up, took his cap off for a change, and pulls out the chair and I've had every meal with him since then."
About three months after that chair was pulled, both their lives changed forever.
"And then after we'd had several meals together," Brewer Smith said. "He leaned over and said, 'I'm gonna marry you'. He didn't say 'will you marry me?' 'Will you go out with me?' He said, 'I'm gonna marry you'. And I said 'okay!'"
Marilyn was a lab technician at Midland Memorial Hospital as well as a top realtor in Midland for a while. Ross was in the Navy and worked at the chemical company Union Carbide.
"I just am so grateful that God has blessed me, has blessed us and that he brought us both here," Brewer Smith said. "I know this was God's plan for us. And I feel that this is where we're supposed to be."
The two are quite the popular couple at the Estates.
"I had the privilege of getting to meet them both," General Manager Katie Miller said. "And if you get to talk to Ross one on one, he is very sweet and very kind and Marilyn's kind of the life of the party. She always comes with a fun energy and she just mingles with anybody. When she first moved in anywhere you sat her in the dining room, she was bound to make friends."
Their connection was obvious even to the workers.
"The first time I saw them together, they were upstairs at the puzzle table," Miller said. "And you could tell they were very intentional with each other speaking to each other [...] You could tell it was an instant connection."
The wedding is going to take place October 22nd at the place they met: Polo Park Estates.
"So we're planning something real small," Miller said. "We're going to have their family kind of upfront and then we have a balcony area where we're gonna have the residents so they can watch."
The couple couldn’t be more in love.
"I love her!" Ross said. "I just love her."
"He is the most thoughtful, kind, loving person," Marilyn said about Ross. "It's just- I couldn't have anybody better. I really couldn't. There's nobody like him. It's been a wonderful, wonderful union really. We were really blessed, God really was kind. And the people here, all of these people, they care about all of us, all of us here and they kind of have a bead on what we're all doing. Which means that to me it means that you care and that means so much, it's a great place to live."
The couple wouldn’t have met were it not for them being in the right place at the right time, right here in Polo Park Estates.
"I think Marilyn and Ross are a very unique, sweet story," Miller said. "But I think it just shows that even outside of love, there's people making connections here at Polo Park. There just happens to be a love story. But we've seen people make friends here that last for decades. So it's really a place where you can come and start the next chapter of your life."
This proves that anyone, at any age, can find that special someone someday. Just ask soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Champion, and champions they are, as they weren’t looking for love, but surely found it.
"Sure wasn’t looking for it, you know, and it just happened," Marilyn said. "I thought that was all of it [...] and then when he met me at the door I just have been with him ever since."