Falling into place

Falling into place

Bill and Phyllis Lowe

Sometimes that special bashert union isn’t played out until the second act of a couple’s life.

Phyllis Kaplan and Bill Lowe were both born in Brooklyn; both eventually married and had children. After their respective divorces they remained single for many years, busy working and raising their kids. It was not until November of 1995, while Phyllis was living in New City and Bill was in Fort Lee, that their lives intersected.

"Bill’s sister worked with a friend of mine in Rockland County," Phyllis recalls. "She was asking around if anyone wanted to meet a nice Jewish guy and my friend immediately thought of me."

She’d never been on a blind date before, but Phyllis decided she was game, even though she didn’t know much about Bill except that he was in advertising.

"When he called me," she says, "we really hit it off and ended up talking for a long time. But when he told me the names of his kids — Shawn, Scott, and Heather — I had a hard time believing he was Jewish."

She did discover that Bill was very family-oriented. "Not just about his kids," she says, "but he was close to his siblings and parents, too. I found that very appealing."

She agreed to meet him for brunch at Binghamton’s in Edgewater. Again they hit it off, finding they shared a mutual love of good food, museums, the theater, and movies. They enjoyed each other’s company so much, brunch turned into a visit to Bill’s home, where Phyllis met his son, Scott. Then the two went out for dinner. By the end of their extended date, Phyllis knew this was someone special.

"He also impressed me when he called that night to make sure I got home okay," she says. When he asked her out for the following week, she agreed without hesitation.

Their second date proved as successful as their first, and from that point on they were a couple. It helped that two of Bill’s three children, Shawn and Scott, were the same age as Phyllis’s kids, Wendy and Jason. And since their children were all older, the couple weren’t facing a "Brady Bunch" situation when they decided to marry.

They wed the following May, and Phyllis moved to Bill’s home in Fort Lee.

Changing states was no hardship for Phyllis, since she had been working for RAD Data Communications in New Jersey. Bill continued with his career in advertising, spending a total of ‘6 years with the William Esty Agency and eventually becoming vice president. When his company merged with a larger agency, however, Bill decided it was time to make a change.

He went back to school at Ramapo College and received a degree in social work. He began counseling at St. Agatha’s, a residence for troubled children and teens in Spring Valley, N.Y., and then worked for Vantage Health Services in Englewood. Recently he’s begun looking into a graduate program in art therapy at Caldwell College, a field that would combine both his art and social work background.

After overcoming some serious health issues, Phyllis returned to work part time for a sister group of RAD in Paramus. Her daughter Wendy now lives in California and Jason is in Monroe, N.Y., while all three of Bill’s children live in New Jersey.

Both the Lowes are active in their temple, Cong. Gesher Shalom/JCC of Fort Lee, and Phyllis is also involved in the Fort Lee Beautification Committee.

"I think being honest, caring and open makes all the difference," Phyllis says of their marriage of 15 years. "Even though Bill was my first blind date, sometimes it works out. We’re still very compatible."

Bill nods in agreement. "Honesty is the key. If you can be honest and respectful, the rest just falls into place."

Nancy Butler is the author of 1′ Regency romances, three nonfiction titles (including "The Quotable Lover," Lyons Press), and three novellas, and has twice won the prestigious RITA from the Romance Writers of America.

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