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Reunited at Last

Go Pats

Community and family pull together to reunite 88-year-old husband with his wife of 61 years after Quarantine has kept them separated.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, April 14, 2020 / -- Love truly unites the world.

In a poetic and fitting reminder of this, Mr. Nick Avtges of Watertown, Mass celebrated his 61st Wedding Anniversary last month with his wife Marion. Nick is 88, Marion 85, and yes you read that correctly--61st wedding anniversary.

As life takes its course, Marion was moved into the Marist Hill Nursing Home in Waltham last year. Inseparable--Mr. Avtges spent 7 days a week with his wife visiting her each day.

That ended three weeks ago, when COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions prevented visits.

According to a Belmont Citizen-Herald report and article by Joanna Tzouvelis the couple spoke on the phone several times a day. But the couple’s son Chris could see the emotional toll this was exacting on his father. Chris had an idea to reunite his parents--originally somewhat of a joke, he thought of getting a bucket lift to hoist his father up to the second floor level of his mother's room.

Chris put out a post on Facebook looking for a starting point. Friends connected and the community rallied to help. It was meant to be a surprise, but his father saw the post shared by another.

“He cried tears of joy,” said Chris.

True to Boston form, It was a community effort….Peter Tzannos, a former Watertown High friend reached out and brought in others from the community who gladly stepped in to help.

Aaron Newell, a Project Manager for New England Design and Construction in Boston was contacted and stepped in to assist. Aaron had this to say:

“I was contacted by a friend of mine (Peter Tzannos) wondering if there was anyone that I knew that had a bucket truck or a boom lift so that we could hoist a gentleman up to the second floor of a nursing home to see his wife who he used to visit everyday--but hadn’t seen her in a few weeks due to COVID-19.

I happily obliged and started making phone calls and started planning how to make it happen.

We were ready to rent a boom lift the afternoon of the planned reunion when a tree company called Peter back and offered his services. Nick's family had come down from Connecticut to watch the event and were extremely grateful and gratified to see it happen.

It was almost a scene out of a movie and very touching. In a time like this it was a nice break from society and an incredible feeling to be able to help out and make it happen!”

They had been on the verge of renting a boom lift from Home Depot when Ryan Donnellan of Donnellan Tree Services in Watertown came through and generously offered the services of one of his bucket lifts.

They arranged for the visit to happen Wednesday. It was a big deal with family travelling from Connecticut to both witness and share in the moment.

Wearing a Patriots face mask and gloves Nick was hoisted into the lift and strapped into the disinfected bucket, then hoisted to the second floor to see his wife.

It was an emotional reunion.

Nick was a 1950 Watertown High School graduate and worked in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Marion in turn was a nurse and special ed teacher for Watertown Public Schools. Both dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others.

On their first wedding anniversary 60 years ago, Marion gave Nick season tickets to the New England Patriots and they have held season tickets since this time.

The couple had four children, all raised in Watertown, Mass where Nick Sr. still lives.

There is no stronger city on earth and in my heart it represents humanity.

Go Pats. #Bostonlove

David Supple
New England Design + Construction
+1 617-708-0676
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Reuniting Couple of 61 Years During Quarantine