In a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Fresno seniors find second chance at love

April 26, 2021

When Carol Tickvitza moved into The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens last April, she was eager to experience a rich community life after nearly 20 years of living alone.

“I was so tired of eating by myself; I vowed to never eat alone again,” said Tickvitza, who lost her husband 18 years ago. “Of course, the pandemic had other plans and I wasn’t able to eat with anyone for about six months.”

It wasn’t long before she made friends during long walks around campus, and was eventually introduced to resident, Bob Dowell, also a widower. Casual dinners and safe social opportunities blossomed into romance.

“I’d been married 33 years; I figured that part of my life was over,” she chuckled. “But Bob’s integrity, his sincerity – he’s just someone you enjoy being around for more and more time.”

On Valentine’s Day, Carol went to Bob’s apartment for dinner. On the table were a dozen red roses, an engagement ring, and a card with his proposal.

“We have so much shared life experience,” she said. “We’ve shared tears and laughter; it’s just been a beautiful arrangement.”

On Saturday, April 24, a day after Carol’s 77th birthday, the pair exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony before about 30 close friends at The Terraces. Like most brides, Carol was full of nervous excitement, but is deeply appreciative of the support they’ve received from the community.

“The staff have been absolutely wonderful, giving us approval to have the ceremony,” she added. “Shaun [Rushforth, executive director] made it happen, and dining services said they’d prepare whatever we wanted. Staff even helped us with wedding invitations. It’s been such a smooth process; it’s been incredible.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Share This Article


Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you. Here’s how.

Contact Us


Meet our team and learn more about our community.

About Us