Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury is ideal location for the residents’ date night

Mary and Brian with their cat and dog outsideOn Valentine’s Day, the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury dining room is the date of choice for residents Brian and Mary Bennett, who’ve been married for 60 years after meeting in high school geometry class in 1957.

“We will have dinner with one or two other couples,” said Mary. “We like to be at home. We like it here. Our friends are here. It will be a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

In reflecting on her plans for this year, Mary couldn’t help but recall dates from their past. What started out in 10th grade as mostly group dates with friends turned into them going out by themselves, with their first being a movie. “We went to see The 10 Commandments. It was a very long movie, even had an intermission where you’d leave the theatre and come back after the break.”

The couple didn’t allow their growing love for each other to deter their studies or their future plans. Instead, they relied on their love to form the foundation they needed to go and follow their dreams. After graduating high school, Mary left her home state of Pennsylvania to attend college at Duke University for nursing and experience a new part of the country. She pursued a double major and went to school year-round, only going back home for quick visits and vacations. Meanwhile, Brian chose to stay closer to home after having moved around a lot in his childhood. He attended Gettysburg College and later Harvard Law School.

“We wrote letters to each other, made a few long-distance phone calls and visited each other when we could,” Mary said. “But we were both busy studying and focusing on getting our degrees and getting to work.”

A wedding, careers, two children and two step-grandchildren later, the Bennetts are still thriving as a couple and happy to have made a life at RWC. The couple who lived in Front Royal, Va., heard about RWC while seeing a newspaper when visiting their daughter and son-in-law in the Northern Neck. “We liked the small and rural feel of RWC. We’re not city folks,” said Mary, having moved here in 2020.

In addition to their careers in law and health care, the Bennetts have enjoyed decades of buying and selling antiques; exploring the outdoors through gardening, hiking, beekeeping, hunting, and fishing; and serving to improve their local park systems.

RWC is proud to be the home of couples like Brian and Mary Bennett, who bring their love and life experiences to the Irvington community, enriching the lives of all those around them.

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