← Back to Blog

Sweet On You – Valentines Show Their Love

Three fast weeks to an engagement led to 44 long years of a happy marriage.

Pati and Rick Saulig, residents of Monarch Landing Senior Living in Naperville, worked at General Motors in Oak Brook when they first met and became fast friends. Rick didn’t believe in going out with anyone within the workplace, so although they spent time visiting, they didn’t date until he learned he would be transferred to Atlanta.

“When he received word, he said we should go out. I thought it was a good idea,” says Pati, 69. Three weeks later they were engaged.

Before he moved, they spent as much time together as possible, much of it in commuting. “I could see the office from my apartment in Oak Brook,” recalls Rick, 72. “But each morning, I drove to Hoffman Estates to pick Pati up for work, and then at the end of the day, we’d often get dinner, and I’d drive her home.” This added up to approximately 120 extra miles each day.
Rick says that because they’d already been close friends, by the time they had their first official date, “we knew we cared about each other. The fact that I was getting transferred pushed things along a little. I enjoyed being with her, and she was in the same boat as I was.”

“When we decided to get engaged, we thought, ‘let’s do this,’” says Pati.

Rick says that because they moved away when they married, they had “no influences but ourselves. We were best friends with each other. Nothing has ever gotten in our way. We always had ourselves, our jobs, and our cars.” Over the next 44 years, this continued to be the case as the couple made approximately 20 more moves.

Pati says that while the two have separate interests, they support each other. For instance, over the past year, she’s sewed more than 800 masks for residents and staff at Monarch Landing. Rick pitched in by cutting the mask material for Pati. Proceeds from the sale of the masks went to Monarch Landing’s Staff Appreciation Fund. “The staff has worked especially hard this past year and we were happy to support this effort,” adds Pati.

For 44 years, the Sauligs have remained each other’s best friend and strongest supporter.

“I like that he is the steady one, the strong one. My strongest supporter,” says Pati. “He believes that I can do anything even if I can’t. He’s got a wonderful good heart and is very generous. He’s everything you want, but never think you’d find.”

As seen in Chicago Tribune Primetime.