Better Together – Bonnie and Frank Gittinger
Bonnie and Frank may have met later in life, but it was their time to shine. Frank, a third-generation insurance salesman had never been much farther than the neighborhood he’d grown up in. He’d done the standard gap year abroad in his college years, but it wasn’t until he met Bonnie their adventures really began.
Bonnie, a voice major in college, found her voice not on the stage, but in fundraising. Her voice became that of the nonprofit world – she began work for PBS, the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), the Girl Scouts, her local symphony orchestra, a local junior college, CTRC, and many more organizations throughout South Texas and across the USA.
As the financial crisis hit the US in 2009, the Gittinger’s planned for an uncertain future. Bonnie got her real estate license, and the two got into the real estate game, which as it turned out, was part of Frank’s history, too. Frank’s family had once been in the real estate business before going into the world of insurance. Armed with Bonnie’s real estate license, their connections in their community, and good old-fashioned gut instinct, the Gittinger’s created Gittinger Companies, parent company to Frank’s insurance business, Bonnie’s fundraising work, and their real estate endeavours – all within the last ten years of their sixteen-year marriage.
They’ve purchased, flipped, and rented seven properties in an up and coming neighbourhood, and have added Property Manager to their already impressive array of endeavours. They are philanthropists, friends, confidantes, and more celebrating each day one moment at a time. Bonnie, now in her 70s, lifts weights. Frank hiked the Arctic Circle in his 60s. For this couple, age is only a number and theirs is unlisted.
Today, their businesses are booming and they’re celebrating life with an epic adventure on the Blue Train across South Africa, an African Safari, and they’ll round out their summer with Florence and Rome, Italy.
These are everyday people over 65 who show no signs of slowing down. No, they’re not winning bodybuilding championships nor are they competing in the Olympics. They’re not household names, well, outside their city, like Jane Goodall or Gloria Steinem. But, they’re doing amazing things every day for someone. Whether its housing, help, healing, or something else, their hands and hearts lead to doubled efforts – making them better, together.
Do you know any amazing older adults that we can feature on our Blog? Let us know in the comments below.