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Couple marks their 66th anniversary

November 29, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

If there was a song that could describe the love Glenn Rutledge has for his wife, Phyllis, it would probably be "Hopelessly Devoted to You" by Olivia Newton-John.

Every day for the past year, Glenn, 87, has visited his wife at the Crossing at Hancock Creek in the Memory Care facility.

She has Alzheimer's disease.

Article Photos

Glenn and Phyllis Rutledge as they celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary at the Crossing at Hancock Creek on Friday.

Chuck Ballaro

On Friday, Glenn and Phyllis celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary with their friends and to talk about all the wonderful years they have had together.

The couple got a table of their own for lunch and cake and the hope for a few more anniversaries together.

"We've just done things right. We've gone to church and we've had disagreements along the way like everyone else, but we've had a good life together," Glenn said.

"I try real hard and I have a man who loves me. He's very nice," Phyllis said.

Glenn said he and Phyllis, 84, went to high school together in Indiana. But as she was a freshman and he was a senior, they hadn't met.

It wasn't until he started playing professional softball for her father in 1948 that they met. They were married three years later, by which time Glenn had entered the Air Force, serving in Korea doing recon missions.

The Rutledges had a son and a daughter, Ken Rutledge and Cathy Edwards, and Glenn, who left the service in 1955. He became a bricklayer by trade and moved up superintendent for a large construction company in Chicago. Phyllis became a librarian after the kids got out of high school.

The couple came to North Fort Myers in 1995, where they became heavily involved in the Pine Lakes area where they lived. Glenn became president of the homeowner's association for six years, while she was involved in cards and bingo.

Once Phyllis became ill, he stepped up to take care of her.

"I took care of her for almost five years. On Nov. 8, 2016, we brought her here. I visit every day," Glenn said.

As for Phyllis, Glenn said her memory is fine during the early part of the day, but as she tires in the mid to late afternoon, she starts to drift. Alzheimer's people call it "sundown disease."

She also uses a wheelchair and can't really get outside the property anymore. Glenn helps with Tuesday morning church service and spends at least two hours a day with her, while finding time to golf occasionally.

"She does well. She gets a little contrary now and then as I do, too. But they treat her good here," Glenn said.



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