John Walks His Daughter Down The Aisle

John A., 86, from Brookdale Marietta in Marietta, Ohio, was unable to walk his daughter, Lori, down the aisle at her wedding in 1980. John worked several blue collar jobs in factories throughout his life to support his family, and began working at age 9 as a golf caddie. John only retired two years ago at age 84!

A proud father, John was not only able to put four of his kids through college, but allowed them to graduate debt-free. Unfortunately, John and his wife had purchased a house right before Lori’s wedding, and were financially unable to travel to Lori’s wedding. Now that he is retired, John has more time to reflect upon his life. John said “I want to fulfill my obligation as a father. I’ve always felt guilty that I wasn’t able to give Lori away. Our kids have been No. 1 all the way, and what I do for one I do for all.”

John moved to Brookdale Marietta in July 2014. Ever since he arrived, John has attended every funeral for every resident who passed at Brookdale, remembered every birthday, and donated to many charities. John never passes up an opportunity to assist another resident. For many years, John and his wife enjoyed purchasing gifts for underprivileged kids during the holidays. Sadly, John’s wife passed away after 68 years of marriage. She had Alzheimer’s, and John stayed with her through every stage of the disease. John also cared for his wife’s mother for 15 years before she passed away. 

On July 22, 2016, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale helped make John’s wish to walk Lori down the aisle a reality. On July 21, John and family enjoyed a rehearsal dinner at The Buckley House. The following afternoon, John finally had the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream and relieve a regret that has haunted him for years. To make the experience extra special, John's oldest son and daughter played the violin and piano during the ceremony, and his other son officiated the wedding. Lori said "I feel like dad is whole again," and John said "I feel like now for each child I have fulfilled my commitment, and it has surpassed all my expectations." 

Photo credit: Allie Bennett Photography