Super Senior: Lyle Ladieu & Mary Ann Arbuckle

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT
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CHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - At his home just outside the village of Chester, Lyle Ladieu is a man in motion.

“I’ve had motorcycles, I’ve had snow machines, I’ve had boats, I’ve had airplanes,” Ladieu said. And at age 90, he hasn’t stopped. “I’m just a guy who has to keep going.”

By his side is his wife Janice. The two met at a dance near his childhood home of Sheldon. They soon married and raised two kids.

Janice and Lyle loved to travel. One year they were about to head to Florida for the winter when Janice became sick. Diagnosed with a type of kidney disease in November, she would be gone in less than half a year. For the first time in 56 years, Ladieu was alone.

Reporter Joe Carroll: After she died you had a tough go?

Lyle Ladieu: Yeah.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you think you were depressed?

Lyle Ladieu: Yeah. Of course, yes.

He tried to keep busy on projects in his workshop but it wasn’t enough. “I just didn’t want to be alone anymore. I needed a companion,” he said.

That’s when he went to the World Wide Web to find romance -- to be exact -- and a certain woman liked what she saw. Mary Ann Arbuckle lived close by. “I never dated a guy with a beard,” Arbuckle said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You liked the beard?

Mary Ann Arbuckle: My daughter liked the beard, she picked him.

On their first date, the two went to lunch, and afterward, Lyle wanted to show Mary Ann his house. “I hemmed and hawed. I said, ‘Okay, if you behave yourself,’” she said. Ladieu complied. “And so when he took me back to my car in Springfield. When I stood up, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and I said... ‘Oh!’”

A cheeky surprise for Arbuckle. That was five years ago and the two are now inseparable. Arbuckle, who is also widowed, has helped Ladieu get through the loss of his wife. Marriage? That’s not in their plans. “There’s a saying, ‘Why get married and ruin a beautiful friendship,’” Ladieu said.

And that account? “No, I deleted it,” Arbuckle said.

“Didn’t need that anymore,” added Ladieu.

Proving that it’s never too old to love again. “No, it’s not,” agreed Arbuckle. “He was the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“She has saved me,” Ladieu said.

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