By Marci Woehler, TPM/CTO, Wayne Country View Care & Rehab, Wayne, NE
I’ve been meaning to share with you one of the most amazing couples I will ever have the pleasure of knowing and treating. Meet Clair and Lura Stoakes. Clair is 101, and his wife, Lura, is 96. They celebrated their 80th(!) wedding anniversary back in August. This amazing couple has been with us for over two years, and we try to honor their anniversary in a special way each year.
When Clair and Lura were dating, Clair drove a Model-A car that he would shine up for his dates with Lura. Being in a small town, we knew someone with a Model-T, and we reached out to see if he would be willing to give the couple a ride for their anniversary. His was only a two-seater, but he called a former NE senator from Lincoln two hours away who has a “touring Model-T.” Our local Ford dealership then got involved and arranged to have that vehicle trailered here for Clair and Lura to take a tour around town.
While Lura is quite mobile, Clair requires a little more assistance. After measuring thresholds, we found out the step to get into the vehicle was 29’’with a running board at 19’’off the ground. For weeks prior to the anniversary, our therapy team worked with Clair to be able to manage a 10’’ step all while keeping the secret of their anniversary surprise; at times he thought we were crazy.
When the day came, Clair was able to manage the steps to get into the Model-T and take a drive with his sweetheart while driving off to their song “Too Young” by Natalie Cole. There were three news stations and our local town paper that showed up for the event to interview our amazing couple and watch them drive away. The look on their face when Clair saw the car was priceless as happy tears were shed. If you have a moment, see this news article.