The prospect of love

Nowadays, mobile apps and online chatrooms make it easier to connect with new people. But it wasn’t long ago when friendships and romance flourished because of a special section in newspapers, the personal ads.

A few honest and endearing sentences, not photographs, captivated the attention of a kindred spirit. In the 1970s, dating evolved to meeting others outside of familiar social circles.

Alma explained that with $15, she took out a personal ad in the Midnight Globe – a publication featured on newsstands. “I wrote that I was looking for a practicing Catholic and that I was of German and Irish heritages,” she recalled. Alma’s ad caught the eye of Helmut Hohenleitner, a German emigrant living in New York.

He was a practicing Catholic and professional decorative painter who once painted the Oval Office as part of Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House restoration project. She was living in New Jersey at the time, caring for her parents. Alma joked, “It wasn’t love at first sight, but second sight.”

The two courted for four months before marrying on October 4th, 1975, and settling in New York. They were together for 46 years before his passing last year.

Clutching a black diamond crown hat adorned with souvenir pins collected by Helmut, she spoke fondly of their time together and the marvelous trips they shared after retirement. They were a couple of travel enthusiasts visiting many locations across the U.S., including a road trip to Mexico and other places around the world.

“Of all the places we’ve been to my favorite was Stowe, Vermont, that was where we had our honeymoon,” she explained.

Alma recently moved to The Birches at Newtown to be closer to family. “I feel right at home. The staff is friendly and helpful and I enjoy many of the activities like exercise, word games and group discussions.”

PHOTO CAP: Alma shows her priceless hat with various souvenir pins affixed to it. The Birches at Newtown has many well-versed residents with interesting stories to tell. Schedule a tour and learn more about us! Please call Carole or Pam at 215-240-4829 or visit

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