Pat and Lee Ruecker were sophomores in high school when they met. He played trumpet in the marching band; she liked to act in school plays. On their first date, they discovered they both liked to dance. “I thought he was pretty cool,” says Pat. “He liked music, and he was cute.” “I fell in love with her as soon as I met her,” says her husband, Lee. Sixty-five years later, that love story is still being written, highlighted by a new chapter – one in which the Rueckers are happily retired, living a carefree life at Crestavilla, a Kisco Signature Senior Living community in picturesque Laguna Niguel.
Life at Crestavilla is just about perfect, say the Rueckers, who enjoy their spacious apartment in the community’s memory care neighborhood.
“If you have a need they take care of it,” Pat Ruecker says. “If I need something done for Lee, the staff comes to do it. We especially enjoy the outings we have. We get on the bus and we go places. We sing and have fun, and we relate to the other residents.”
Five-star living is a hallmark of Kisco, and Crestavilla delivers on that by providing a seamless, worry-free lifestyle for its residents. They enjoy maintenance-free residences with housekeeping and linen services, a 24/7 licensed care staff and award winning wellness programs.
“Life at Crestavilla is about making friends and enjoying an environment that caters to your individual needs,” says General Manager Michael Osterbauer, and that’s what sets Crestavilla apart from other senior living communities.
One of the highlights of the community is Top of the World – a 12,000-square-foot rooftop terrace that affords spectacular views of the city’s parks and green spaces. Residents can relax and sip a cocktail under a covered patio … just steps from a golf putting range.
“It’s one of our favorite places because it’s so much fun,” says Lee Ruecker.
Pat agrees, adding they have great hors d’oeuvres and wonderful people who work there. “They serve cocktails and it’s a nice, easy evening. We don’t have to travel anywhere.”
The couple also enjoys movie nights and live entertainment with a great lineup of singers and musicians. “That’s right up our alley,” Pat says.
Music and dancing have been a major part of the Rueckers’ lives ever since that first dance at North High School in Torrance. Their parents both square danced, and Pat and Lee continued the family tradition by bringing their two young daughters to their dance group – the Jolly Mixers.
“It was an all-adult group,” Pat recounts, “but our kids started dancing in back of us. Pretty soon, everybody was bringing their kids, and the kids had a couple of squares themselves. It turned out to be a wonderful thing and, as a result, we’ve had a very close family.”
Today, the Rueckers dance every chance they get, whether it’s at Top of the World or downstairs to live entertainment. They also enjoy spending time with other Crestavilla residents, many of whom share similar interests with the Rueckers. “When we eat dinner downstairs, there are usually two or three couples we sit with,” Pat says. “We’ve developed friendships with a lot of the people here.”
What does it take to make a 61- year marriage work? “You have to be patient,” says Lee, with an adoring glance at his wife. “She tolerates me a lot.”
Pat says love and trust are key, adding it’s important the couple has similar interests. “Dancing has been the glue that keeps us together,” she says.
To learn more about life at Crestavilla, and the residents who call it home, click here.