Music makes the world go ‘round…at least for Mercy Housing Northwest’s Snohomish residents, Jerry and Elaine. The two first met over 40 years ago and their story is one of true love at first sight (and sound). “When our eyes met, neither of us had a question we’d be together the rest of our lives”, according to Elaine. When the two met in the 1970’s, mixed-race marriages had only been legalized across all states for a few years. Jerry, who is African American and Elaine, who is white, experienced racism all the time. They overcame many obstacles to be together, but have been inseparable since the beginning.
Several years ago, Jerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then, Elaine has been by his side – literally. Shortly after her husband’s diagnosis, Elaine retired from her teaching career to be with Jerry full time. Rarely will you find the two apart. If you’re lucky, you can hear Jerry as he serenades passersby on the main street of Snohomish, alongside his wife. Whether they are at home, out on the town, or amongst neighbors and friends, the couple has found that music is a great way of communicating, especially when words are forgotten. As a special Valentine’s Day tribute, the couple was featured in a Today.com segment.
These days, Jerry and Elaine remain active in their community and attend onsite programs when they can. The couple recently moved back into their newly renovated apartments, after a huge renovation project was completed for senior properties in Snohomish last month. It’s great to see the happy couple enjoying their new home. Next time you’re in downtown Snohomish, keep an ear out for a sweet serenade from Jerry.