Finding a Chance at Love Later in Life: Reva & Don’s Story

Editor’s Note: Reva Sipser passed away on December 23, 2022. Reva was an active part of the St. John’s Meadows community and is greatly missed.

Both longtime residents of St. John’s Meadows for over ten years, Reva Sipser and Don Bogdanski never set out to form a romantic connection with one another. They had each suffered the loss of a significant other in recent years, Don having lost his wife Joyce and Reva having lost her partner Walter. Forming a new romance was the furthest thing from their minds at the time.

Being active members of St. John’s Meadows, Reva and Don had seen each other around at exercise classes, movie showings, and other social events. Although they had not been close, after hearing about Walter’s passing Don made sure to send flowers to Reva for her loss. Then a year later when the anniversary of his passing came along, he sent flowers again to remind her that Walter would not be forgotten. “I started to realize that this guy is really very thoughtful,” says Reva.

From then on, they began to spend more time together. First Reva invited Don to see the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and soon after Don was asking Reva to join him on what they now consider their first official date at the Glimmerglass Opera.

Reva and Don have a love for music, movies, and living an active lifestyle at St. John’s Meadows “separately together,” as they put it. Don remains living in his cottage and Reva in her apartment, but they always make time to come together for meals or good old fashioned quality time. Even though they are the first to tell you about their differences, the pair has never let that get in the way of the love they have for one another.

After five years together, Reva and Don feel they have found an ideal partner in one another. With no family close by, “Don is my family here”, says Reva. Their families have expressed gratitude that they have found each other and are extremely supportive of the relationship.

Reva and Don are one of the many couples that have formed since moving into a St. John’s independent living community. Having a community-based environment exploding with opportunities to meet other residents has allowed both romantic and platonic relationships to flourish.

For others looking to form connections, Reva and Don’s advice is simple: “be open, look for common interests, and be honest.” The pair is often spotted walking hand-in-hand in the halls and has proven that it is never too late for another chance at love.