NOVI, MI (September 19, 2016) – The love story of Fox Run retirement community residents Sonia and Stewart Aron began with an email exchange. The couple met through an online dating site in the late 1990s, at a time when online dating was just starting to become popular.
After thoroughly screening Stewart, Sonia agreed to meet him. They hit it off and tied the knot after a year of dating, and have now been married for 16 years.
"I got up all of my courage to do it," Sonia says.
At the time, Sonia was living in Naples, Florida, where she had moved for retirement with her first husband, who died suddenly, leaving her a relatively young widow. As she began to heal, Sonia says she felt a need to share her life with someone, and that led her to Stewart. Of all of the online profiles Sonia read, she says Stewart's stood out to her.
"It took me a while to think it through and realize I have more in common with this man than anyone else on any of the sites," she says.
Stewart, a retired attorney, was living on the opposite coast of Florida but had previously lived in Ohio, just like Sonia. Stewart volunteered for Jewish Family Service, an organization Sonia had previously worked for as a program director. Both Stewart and Sonia also did volunteer work that connected them to Israel.
"It was a connection of values that we had in common as volunteers," Sonia says. "I had been volunteering extensively on many boards."
They left Florida several years ago, and moved to Ohio to be closer to family. A little over a year ago, Sonia and Stewart decided to move to Fox Run. Sonia's sister, brother-in-law, and cousin all live at the community, so she and Stewart were familiar with the maintenance-free lifestyle it offers. They also have a daughter, son-in-law, and three granddaughters in the area.
Sonia, who had worked as a program director at Big Brothers/Big Sisters and earned a doctorate degree in organizational development at age 65, is a member of Fox Run's philanthropy committee. She's also gotten involved with the resident-run book club, writers forum and history club.
She and Stewart enjoy taking classes through the on-site continuous learning program, and they attend thought-provoking films with neighbors through a series called "Movies That Make You Think."