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Couple finds love during lockdown at The Commons

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Couple finds love during  lockdown at The Commons

Retired jeweler Vernon Minor, 98, plays a favorite tune to Virginia Archer on his harmonica in their room at the Commons at Union Ranch retirement community.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 22, 2014 12:42 a.m.

It was something of an exercise in karma when Virginia Archer moved into the Commons at Union Ranch and met retired Hayward jeweler and avid pilot Vernon Minor. 

The 98-year-old Minor took her around the premises and pointed out all the areas she would frequent as she moved into her second-floor apartment. Minor had lived at the facility for three years when she came into the building in 2010.

“I came in September and they set me down at his table. He took me under his wing and showed me around,” she said. Virginia had lived in the Pleasanton and San Leandro areas. 

Both had lost their spouses.

Fear of the flu helped them fill the voids in their hearts.

When a rash of residents contracting colds closed down the facility for a brief time, quarantining everyone to their rooms, Vernon offered Virginia some company.

He welcomed her to stay with him rather than in her second-floor apartment that didn’t have an outside door. They have been together ever since in a heart-and-soul relationship, and recently enjoyed a Valentine’s Day lunch with family members.

They love listening to and making music together. “We can listen to music all day,” Virginia said. Their choices include Dean Martin, classic country and the Lawrence Welk show on Saturday nights at 6. They’ve also joined a bells group.

The Commons’ activity director Josie Omlin said that she sees them as a “very cute couple” who spend all their time together. 

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