The Cutest 92-Year-Old Woman from Quincy Finally Met Her Pen Pal of 10 Years
Dreams do come true, friends, and 92-year-old Ida Gilcoine, a Quincy native, can attest to it.
Gilcoine, the cutest woman on earth, and Peg Hampl, 69, have been pen pals for over 10 years since meeting through an advertisement in a magazine. They started corresponding when Peg, who’s a native of Westport, moved to Arizona to treat her health conditions. The two keep in touch very frequently, yet they still never met after all these years. Last month, however, they got together in person for the first time, and it happened thanks to a partnership with nonprofit Wish of a Lifetime and Framingham-based Philips Lifeline.
Wish of a Lifetime is an organization dedicated to seniors and granting them life-enriching experiences. They teamed up with Philips Lifeline, makers of the medical alert devices, to help seniors like Gilcoine with reaching their dreams. Gilcoine was nominated for her Wish of a Lifetime by her granddaughter, Mary.
While Gilcoine’s health deteriorated in recent years, she still stayed busy by volunteering at places like her local library and the cafeterias at elementary schools. She’s on the Council of Aging, a nonprofit group that improves the lives of older adults. She raised three children while working nights at a factory (Sigma Instruments out of Braintree), and later became a full-time caregiver for her husband before his passing. To say the least, she sounds like a deserving candidate with a simple request.
So just in time before the holidays, Gilcoine traveled out to Queen Creek, Arizona, with her daughter-in-law Debbie to meet her friend Peg. The two were brought to tears when they first saw one another, and spent hours reminiscing about stories they only knew from writing. (Note that in the above photo, they are laughing over cat greeting cards, which is the best.)
Over the past decade, letters were the main method of communication between Peg and Gilcoine, but they did speak on the phone a handful of other times, especially since Ida’s handwriting has been strained in recent years. One of those phone calls took place after Gilcoine was granted her wish.
One of the highlights of their conversation was when Gilcoine found out she knows Peg’s mother. Coincidentally, they corresponded the same way these two friends found each other: through a magazine. A small world for a lady with a huge heart.
Below, see photos from their meeting.