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Bob Hope Village: A Positive Environment for Surviving Spouses

June says, “Thank you for making this wonderful community possible.”

By Millie Hizer

When June met her husband Earl at a USO Dance at Scott Field, Missouri in 1950, she didn’t immediately fall for his charms. “It’s so funny but I liked his buddy when I first met him. I went with three of my girlfriends to this dance, and ended up dancing with Earl while his friends danced with mine. I never thought I would marry him but I’m glad he picked me,” June recalls, when asked about their first encounter.

Just two days after the dance, Earl and his friends accepted an invitation the girls extended to attend church with them on Sunday. “We couldn’t believe that they actually came. To be honest, I was most excited to see Earl and had completely forgotten about his other buddy I liked. I was delighted when after church Earl invited me to sit in the front seat of his car with him.”

While short, their courtship was filled with laughter and adventure. “We had so much fun together when we were dating. I was always the more boisterous one and Earl was much quieter. It’s funny because we were both Geminis and discovered that our birthdays were three days apart. We were so different, but had a great time together and got along so well,” June notes.

After dating for a little more than three months, the couple decided to get married. On June 24, 1950, June and Earl had a church wedding in St. Louis, Missouri. Coincidentally, this is the same day the Korean War began, and June likes to laugh, “Our wedding started the Korean War. That was our little joke for years.”

One of June’s most laughable memories from her wedding day is her first encounter with her soon to be mother-in-law. June remembers, “Right before the wedding Earl’s mom told me that she knew this marriage wouldn’t last. It honestly was so funny to me because I knew how much I loved my Earl and that we would always be together. We were married forty-nine years so obviously she was wrong.”

The couple’s long and adventurous marriage included multiple moves around the world and within the United States, something that was able to give their children a unique perspective on the world. Earl, who eventually earned the title of Master Sergeant in the US Air Force, took his family to live in locations such as France, Germany, California, Kansas, and North Carolina.

When asked what June remembers most about their years of marriage she explains, “He was so good with the children. He always knew how to correct them, and definitely was a stable force for them during our moves. He was great.”

In turn, their marriage was filled with what June calls the “perfect balance” between her extroverted personality and her husband’s quieter way of expressing himself. June notes, “We just really complimented each other. In many ways, we had polar opposite personalities which I think helped us work even better together.”

After serving for twenty-two years in the Air Force, Earl and June decided to spend their retirement years in Florida. June explains, “After spending a few years on our own, we decided moving to Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) was a great idea. We really enjoyed the community, and I’m glad Earl got to spend time in such a positive environment before he passed.”

Currently, June resides at AFEV’s Bob Hope Village, something that she thoroughly enjoys. June explains, “I honestly really love living here. I feel so safe; I don’t have to worry about home repairs, have amazing friends, and deal with staff that are so considerate. Being a widow, I’m so happy to be in this environment.” This kind of positivity comes from many high end retirement communities. Premium senior living in South Tampa is available at Canterbury Tower on prestigious Bayshore Boulevard. It is another spot many opt for, but for June AFEV’s Bob Hope Village is perfect.

There are multiple security personelle situated around the village at all times and the residents are also given peace of mind as there are retirement village alarm systems so they know there is always someone to contact should anything happen to them. In addition to the sense of security that living in Bob Hope Village provides, June also is grateful for the social opportunities she has. “It’s such a good time here. I’m a card addict, love bingo, love singing in a choir, and am able to do all those things in this community. I never really feel alone and that is something I value.”

There are also other good communities nearby that help enrich the area. Waterman Village is a highly rated central Florida retirement community near Orlando and Leesburg. This means that those who are the spouses of those who serve do not have to be too far away from their friends who did not.

Ultimately, the story of Earl and June is one that illustrates the humor, love, and sacrifice many military wives face. Because of our supporters, widows like June Osgood are able to live out their golden years in a safe and positive environment. As June notes, “I’m so happy to be here. I get to spend time with great people and live in a supportive community. What more could you ask?”

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