Dick and Sally Morrill
Regardless of your path in life, the one memory that will endure the rigors of time is that of how you met your soul mate. The author believes in the adage: “One day, you will come across someone who will love you as you have always wanted; like never before.”
Taking that into consideration, meet Dick and Sally Morrill. The couple resides at the Quail Hollow Senior Living Community in West Lebanon. Both are energetic and active octogenarians (85) who have gained a reputation among their peers as role models enduring the aging process. They are known for their wide smiles and sunny dispositions. Even a life-threatening pandemic sweeping the nation could not alter their love for each other and others surrounding them.
Sally was born in Lebanon at Alice Peck Day Hospital and grew up in Lyme, NH. Dick hails from Hyannis, Massachusetts. So, how did their paths cross?
“One of my buddies and I had traveled to the Bradford, Vermont area to do some bow hunting for deer in October,” Dick explained. “After a full day of being in the woods, we headed for a local bar to treat ourselves to a drink and something to eat.” Sally and two of her friends were at the same establishment for a ladies’ night out. As the ladies were starting to leave, they converged near the door.
“I kind of gave a Ta-Da as a greeting at the door,” Sally recalled with a grin. “We all started talking and since there was music being played, we all decided to go back in together.”
“My buddy and I started flirting with these lovely ladies and one thing led to another and we all sat down together,” said Dick. “When the music really got going, I asked if anyone would like to dance, especially a polka. I love the polka and Dick indicated he would dance with me. That is how it all started,” said Sally. “Yeah. It was one of those names-on-a-napkin deals from there and we kept in contact,” said Dick.
Dick had served in the United States Marines for eight years, including active duty and in the reserves as a Weapons Repair Specialist. That was followed by a career in the grocery business, which eventually led him to New Hampshire and to work in the Upper Valley. “I then ended up opening a grocery store in Spofford, NH.”
Sally had established a career at Dartmouth College working for the Athletic Department. They got married in 1982 at the Cathedral of The Pines in Rindge, NH.
Today, the pair remain active helping others and comforting fellow seniors as a high priority. Sally served as a volunteer for seven years at Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial Hospital at the Heater Road location. “I basically worked as a volunteer greeting people and welcoming them. I have always loved doing that, but the pandemic brought all that to a halt for me. Here at Quail Hollow, that is what I missed most during the height of the pandemic. Visiting with others and offering my help where needed and offering comfort. It is so good to see that return.”
During retirement, Dick enjoys an opportunity to display one of his many talents. He is an established and talented painter. “Painting was always an art form that I became interested in. When I was 14 years old, the Brockton Massachusetts Library asked me to display my work and they sold them as a fundraiser. They sold them all and I was never able to get them back,” Dick said with a grin.
That pattern continues today. His work is currently on display at Quail Hollow and selling quickly. “I love doing it. I took a course that ended up lasting three years in Toll Painting Design. I learned to paint Toll Acrylics. I am very pleased and surprised how quickly they sell.”
Dick has also been an avid golfer since he was 14 and continues to pursue that passion today. Continuing both activities with such enthusiasm and dedication at 85 reveals incredible courage and zest for life. “I have slowed down quite a bit on the golf course, but I still love it very much. To date, I have been treated for five types of Cancer, but I am still here,” he said.
On any given day, you will see the pair visiting with fellow seniors in their community; offering companionship and aid wherever needed. They also devote much of their time to contacting their seven children spread out across the country. None of this would have taken place had it not been for their love for dancing the polka that day in the local Bradford bar.