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A Friendly Reconnection Forms a Love Connection

February 9, 2016
An Ashby Ponds couple, who first met over 40 years ago, will soon celebrate their first wedding anniversary

(Ashburn, Virginia) – Wes and Rose Kriebel moved to Ashby Ponds retirement community in April of 2015, and just 11 days later were married right on campus at the community's chapel.  They welcomed about 45 members of their immediate families for the ceremony and followed the occasion with a reception at Ashby Ponds' Windows Restaurant.  After their reconnection in the summer of 2014, the couple, who initially met more than 40 years ago, settled into their new home together for the first time.

Wes and Rose met during a bridge club event in State College, Pennsylvania more than four decades ago.  Wes was a Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rose's husband was a Professor of Electrical Engineering, both at Penn State University.  Wes retired from Penn State after 25 years and moved with his family to Vienna, Virginia.  Rose also transitioned with her husband and family for a position at Rochester Institute of Technology, and then to Drexel University in Philadelphia several years later.  Wes and his wife were married for 60 years and Rose and her husband were married for 39 years.  One day, Wes began to search through his sympathy cards and came across a note from Rose, which launched their reconnection.  In August of 2014, Wes offered to dog sit at his son's farm in Pennsylvania; during that week he invited Rose to lunch – the first of many. 

"The first lunch went well – and then we drifted into dinner!" said Rose.  "In the ensuing months, we came to know Interstate 95 very well,"  said Wes.

After eight months, the two decided not only to get married, but to find a home together where they could enjoy a new life and retirement years.  Both sold their homes and the scene was set for Ashby Ponds, a perfect location, since each had two children nearby.  Together, Wes and Rose have seven children and fifteen grandchildren.

A love of common interests has also guided their relationship – music in particular stands out.  Rose has been a pianist and organist for the past 41 years;  at Ashby Ponds she has enjoyed the Songbirds choral group and plays for the community's Interfaith church services.  Rose was also a member of Sweet Adelines, Inc. for 34 years, an international organization of women barbershop singers.  Wes has also been a longtime member of barbershop organizations;  namely, Fairfax JubilAires, Harmony Heritage Singers, and Special Blend, his quartet.  Wes is currently rehearsing with other men at Ashby Ponds to form a vocal group at the community.  Again this year, Wes will be performing "Singing Valentines" with  his quartet; akin to singing telegrams, the performances serve as a fundraiser for local charities.

In celebration of their first Valentine's Day as man and wife, Wes and Rose are traveling via Autotrain to Sarasota, Florida.  The two will spend six sunny weeks traversing the gulf coast taking in a baseball spring training game, visiting Disney World, venturing into the edge of the Everglades to visit Ashby Ponds friends, and catching up with numerous friends and relatives.

About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 18 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.).  The community is home to over 1000 residents and more than 120 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at