Roberta and Les Farnum

03/13/2014 5:45 PM

03/13/2014 5:46 PM

Roberta, 61, and Les, 65 met by chance in 1978 as they were leaving Las Vegas. They forged a relationship that thrived despite the physical distance between them and were married Oct. 11, 1980. They live in Charlotte, and Roberta tells their story.

Fasten your seat belts: As fate would have it, Les and I sat across the aisle from one another during the five-hour flight from Las Vegas to New York City. I was headed home; he was starting a business trip before returning to his home in Knoxville, Tenn. We talked nonstop during the entire flight and stayed in touch over the next four months, till our first date in March 1979.

Next steps: After a year of long-distance dating, we decided it was time to take the next step. I moved to Knoxville in March 1980, and we married in October. I became an instant wife and mother, helping Les raise his two kids, Amy and Damon, from a previous marriage. We didn’t have a family support system nearby and the life changes were drastic, but we managed to figure it all out.

Building together: In the late ’90s, we were challenged with a long-distance caregiving situation. Amy had just purchased a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Knoxville, and we watched her develop the senior care business. After a year of research, we moved to Charlotte in 2000 and opened our own Home Instead business.

Teamwork: Les is my partner in life and in business. I couldn’t have found a better person to travel this journey with. He is my rock. He is steady, calm and always there for me. I think together we make a great team. Hilary Trenda


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