90-year-olds find love taking out trash at Chicago-area senior living community

Irene Stange and Bob Neder, residents at Oak Trace Senior Living.

They met in the trash room, and everything changed.

Ninety-year-old Irene Stange and 93-year-old Bob Neder met at Oak Trace Senior Living in Downers Grove

Neither of them had given any thought to the possibility of dating again after losing their spouses of 60+ years. Then they met in the trash room on their floor. A couple of months later, they started dating. 

"I’m so grateful for the trash room!" Irene said five years after they met. 

Bob, looking to connect with someone, took a chance and asked Irene on a date. 

"I saw Irene around, and she seemed to have more life than other people. She acted full of life. I was nervous thinking about asking her out, and I was afraid she’d say ‘no.’ Then things would be awkward, with us living right down the hall from each other," Bob said. 

Irene said she accepted the date and then became "a nervous wreck."

"I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I’d been married 64 years. I called my daughters and asked them what I should do, what I should wear, and if I should change my mind," Irene said.

Their first date was at the Morton Arboretum; they’ve been together ever since. 

"When I moved here, I felt like I became the person I was meant to be. And then meeting Bob made it even better. I’m surprised to realize that this is the best time of my life," said Irene.