Featured LIFE

Couple proves it’s never too late for love

Tammy and Charles Lee slice their wedding cake during a reception at The Glen at Scripps Ranch before a crowd of more than 100. (photo by Ping Won)

Couple proves it’s never too late for love

By Dave Dunn

When Charles Lee and Tammy Chen moved to The Glen at Scripps Ranch, a San Diego retirement community, they both resolved to never have a romantic relationship. But the 82- and 75-year-old, respectively, say love has magical power and celebrated their wedding reception in November with more than 100 guests at The Glen.

Despite the odds of the pandemic increasing strain on marriages and the low rates for remarrying after age 75, the Lees laugh, play games and adventure together like newlyweds who are half a century younger.

“Our Chinese and educational backgrounds are what initially sparked our relationship,” said Charles Lee. “Then the similar interests in sports, exercise, going to church and travel … love just took over, and it’s the ultimate power in the universe.”

After their first date at The Glen – dinner at Tammy’s apartment home on New Year’s Day in 2020 – the two grew to be inseparable. They became table tennis enthusiasts (Charles admits he often loses to Tammy), go on daily walks, swim in the pool and enjoy various other activities at the retirement community.

After attending college in Taiwan, both eventually moved to the U.S. Charles earned his Ph.D. and taught entrepreneurship at the Ivy League level and then California universities. Tammy worked in business management. Both raised families, became widows, and had kids and grandkids, who salute their new union.

“To people of any age, keep trying to find love but don’t rush into anything,” Charles said. “Get to know, understand, accept and tolerate each other.”

The two popped champagne, cut the cake and did a waltz for their first dance surrounded by friends and a community the couple says made it all possible.

“It’s heartwarming to see residents here discover new passions, try new activities, make new friends and even find love in some cases,” said Brad Logsdon, marketing director at The Glen. “The possibilities are endless, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”