Pocket Life

By Corky Mau
February 2021

Love Blossoms

Age is just a number for these couples

Valentine’s Day brings out friendship and love in many of us. This month’s Pocket Life shares two love stories from local residents as we look to Feb. 14.

What’s it like for seniors to fall in love again? One answer came from Mas Hatano, who Inside readers may remember celebrated his 92nd birthday with a bicycle “ride-by” to avoid problems with COVID-19.

Hatano has been busy in other ways. He won the heart of a fellow resident at ACC Greenhaven Terrace Apartments. His friendship with Yvonne Jung grew out of a mutual fondness for daily walks around the complex. At some point, they realized their friendship was something more—they had fallen in love. It was a yearlong courtship that resulted in an August 2020 marriage.

“What I love about him is that he’s so easy to talk to and a real gentleman,” says the bride, who changed her name to Jung-Hatano. “Our first date was lunch at Shari’s restaurant. We walked there and I was impressed that he was so fit at his age.”

Hatano smiles at the story. He adds, “I love her sense of humor. We laugh a lot. I’m lucky to have found someone who can make me laugh every day!”

Jung-Hatano, 82, didn’t fall easily. Her new husband tried three marriage proposals. The first came in March with a note written in Spanish, which Jung was studying at the time. She declined. She had been married and widowed twice. Why get married again?

Hatano didn’t quit. He asked a second time, but was turned down. To discourage her suitor, she told him, “I don’t cook, I don’t clean house and I’m high maintenance!” Hatano responded, “It’s OK, we can eat out and I’ll clean house.”

For a couple of months, Jung lived with her daughter. Every night at 8 o’clock, she spoke on the phone with Hatano. During one call, she finally agreed to marry—with one condition. Hatano had to promise he would live to be at least 100.

“I said sure. Third time’s the charm,” Hatano says.

Readers might ask, why get married now? Simple, the newlyweds say, it’s no fun to grow old alone. Both enjoy having a companion and hope to take a honeymoon cruise to Alaska later this year.

Brittany Yamada, life enrichment manager at Greenhaven Terrace, says, “Most residents move here and hope to make new friends. For Mas and Yvonne, the unexpected happened. They fell in love.”

Two of my friends, Jack and Judy Foote, spent the past 57 years together devoting much time to music and travel. They met at the University of Oklahoma, where they were members of the “Pride of Oklahoma” marching band. Jack led the saxophone section. Judy played the clarinet. Her father was band director.

“It wasn’t love at first sight,” Jack says. “But after one of our band concerts, we danced all night together on a newly built freeway to music from a car radio.” After that, they were inseparable. They married 54 years ago, right after graduation.

Both pursued careers in education, teaching in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and California. Some readers may have been lucky enough to sit in classrooms with one or both Footes. Judy taught at Genevieve Didion Elementary School for 13 years, then became principal at Alice Birney Elementary. Jack spent more than 40 years at the collegiate level, primarily at Sacramento State, where the professor taught band, saxophone and music education.

What’s their secret? Judy says opposites attract. “I’m a talker and Jack is a listener. But we do have common interests. Travel has been a large part of our lives. We love to experience new cultures and meet people.” Jack adds they both have strong commitments to their relationship and family life. They raised two sons in the Pocket.

Beyond love, they admire each other. Says Jack, “Judy is my best friend and has qualities that attract everyone to her. She’s outgoing, friendly and highly involved in our community.” Judy says, “Jack is very organized and plans all of our trips. He’s calm in case of an emergency and he has great musical abilities. He likes to teach saxophone and arrange music for student ensembles. I’m very lucky.”

Their advice: Remember what’s really important, look for the positives in your lives and enjoy your time together!

Corky Mau can be reached at corky.sue50@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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