For Two Octogenarians, the ‘Endgame’ Was Just the Beginning


On their first date final December, Joan Marie Klein made a confession to Jack William Pinto: She was not 79-years-old, as she had mentioned, however 87.

“I knew nobody’s going to call a woman who says she’s 87,” Ms. Klein mentioned. “And actually, I confirmed that with Jack.”

Then 88, Mr. Pinto — who had pushed two-and-a-half hours from his house in Hanover, Pa., to fulfill Ms. Klein for dinner close to hers in Philadelphia — was unfazed by the revelation. Ms. Klein even joked that if he most well-liked youthful ladies, she nonetheless match the invoice.

Her age apart, frankness had been an indicator of their interactions since they turned acquainted the month earlier than on SilverSingles, a relationship website for older adults. Forward of their get-together, they’d exchanged a number of messages about quite a lot of matters, together with what they had been like in faculty and the happiest day of every’s life.

After their meal, Ms. Klein requested if Mr. Pinto needed to see her not too long ago renovated house. “Part of my reason was I really wanted him to see the apartment, but the other half was that I couldn’t figure out how a girl was going to get kissed on a Philadelphia street in front of a doorman,” she mentioned.

Fifteen minutes after they arrived at her place, Mr. Pinto requested Ms. Klein a pointed query: “So, what is your endgame?”

His first spouse, to whom he was married for greater than 60 years, had died greater than two years earlier. “I wanted to get married again,” Mr. Pinto mentioned. “I like being married.” His query was a solution to see if Ms. Klein was on the identical trajectory.

Her reply steered they weren’t, at the least initially. “I just want somebody to go to the movies with, out to dinner on a Saturday night, maybe a jazz club,” she recalled telling him.

Ms. Klein, who had been married twice earlier than, had additionally misplaced a partner: her second husband had died 10 years earlier. Her life was full, she mentioned, replete with household, journey and accomplishments. For many years, Ms. Klein managed a preschool, Yellow Duck Preparatory Faculty, and an affiliate summer season camp, Nation Roads Day Camp, in Manalapan, N.J., each of which she based.

Regardless of their mismatched expectations, they parted amicably. The next day, Mr. Pinto, who at 57 retired from a profession in advertising and marketing, despatched Ms. Klein a message on SilverSingles. It included his private e mail and ended with the road: “If you ever need anything, call me.” Ms. Klein mentioned she learn the word as “a kiss-off letter.”

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

The pair had reached a little bit of an deadlock. As Mr. Pinto defined, “I told her: ‘I don’t really want a companion. A companion is someone you call up and say, ‘I want to go someplace, would you mind my dog?’ Or worse: ‘Could you come over and take care of the dog because I’ve got a date tonight.’”

They determined to take the following few months to proceed attending to know one another. Ms. Klein, who had deliberate a visit to Paris in April, recalled considering that “if all went well, perhaps he would come with me.”

The 2 started to drive backwards and forwards between their properties, staying for lengthy weekends. “The truth was we were in love after the first month,” Ms. Klein mentioned. “By month two and three, we were just looking to find the crazy parts of each other. We didn’t.”

Added Mr. Pinto, “The time that we did spend together was just so comfortable.”

Each have giant households — Ms. Klein has six kids and 18 grandchildren; Mr. Pinto has three kids and 6 grandchildren — who welcomed their creating relationship. Earlier than assembly his household for the primary time, Ms. Klein was briefly overcome with nervousness. However Mr. Pinto shortly assuaged it. “It’s not a test,” he advised her. “Just be my Joan.”

When Ms. Klein left for Paris in April, Mr. Pinto, now 89, joined her and later proposed on a bridge within the metropolis. “When you’re 89 years old, you’re not going to take five years to decide you’re going to marry somebody,” he mentioned.

On July 2, they had been married on the Rittenhouse Grill, a steakhouse with a piano bar, in Philadelphia. The Rev. Julian Corridor, a retired United Church of Christ minister, officiated.

The newlyweds, who plan to stay between their properties in Philadelphia and Hanover, introduced one another with engraved marriage ceremony rings on the ceremony. Ms. Klein’s band reads: “Be My Joan.” Inscribed on Mr. Pinto’s ring: “The End Game.”


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