Skip to comments.Justice O'Connor's Husband Finds New Love
Posted on 11/13/2007 9:44:49 AM PST by COUNTrecount
The husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has struck up a romance with a woman who is a fellow Alzheimer's patient and lives at the same assisted living center as him, according to a television news report.
The retired justice isn't jealous about the relationship and is pleased that her husband is comfortable at the center, the couple's son, Scott O'Connor, told KPNX in Phoenix in a broadcast that aired Thursday.
"Mom was thrilled that dad was relaxed and happy," Scott O'Connor said. An effort by The Associated Press to reach Scott O'Connor on Tuesday morning was unsuccessful.
An official with the assisted living center was quoted as saying people with Alzheimer's need intimacy and sometimes develop romantic attachments with fellow patients.
John O'Connor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 17 years ago and was sad when he moved into the assisted living center, his son said.
"Forty-eight hours after moving into that new cottage he was a teenager in love," Scott O'Connor said. "He was happy."
The news report showed video footage of John O'Connor holding hands with a woman identified only as "Kay." The retired justice wasn't shown in footage taken at the center.
Though Sandra Day O'Connor, 77, did not appear in the television report, it gave a rare look at the life of the nation's first female justice, USA Today reported. The family's willingness to highlight an aspect of a heart-wrenching illness recalled O'Connor's decision in 1994 to go public with her feelings about breast cancer.
In a speech to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, she spoke about discovering the cancer in 1988 and undergoing a mastectomy, the paper reported.
Scott said, "For Mom to visit when he's happy visiting with his girlfriend, sitting on the porch swing holding hands," was a relief after a painful period, according to USA Today.
The O'Connors, who have three children, met at Stanford Law School and married in 1952, according to the paper. John O'Connor left a partnership at a Phoenix law firm to come to Washington with his wife in 1981. He worked for D.C. law firms but was limited in his ability to take on matters that could come before the justices.
As her husband's disease became more difficult to handle, O'Connor retired, the paper reports.
Uh oh...I see a new excuse for why men had an affair.
All kidding aside, this story is strangely sweet.
Well if the guy is out of his mind and somehow finds some way to be alive a little with the stranger, then I see why his wife is OK with it.
What can she possibly do, her husband, the one she married is really dead as a whole and little bits of him die mentally daily I guess.
She has my sympathy.
“All kidding aside, this story is strangely sweet.”
Yes it is.
I agree, though I doubt she’s “thrilled” as her son claimed. Probably more like simultaneously hurt, grieving, and understanding.
I think you are right.
Like I said, she has my sympathy.
Shame on CBS for reporting a story such as this. Matters of Alzeimers should remain private family matters, unless the family releases it. And, I’m no fan of x Judge O’connor.
Oh, I forgot. The only people entitled to privacy these days are those who dredge the bottom of the barrel to bring us the news.
Although I share your sentiments, I am disturbed at the fact that somebody felt it important to run to the retirement center and film and report this story in a way that wreaks of tabloid journalism. In my mind, it appears to paint a picture of Sandy Baby as a cold and uncaring spouse that has written off the remaining days of her husband’s life. I’m sure that’s far from accurate.
I’m glad he found a friend. I wonder if its anything like that goofy Adam Sandler movie with the girl that starts the same day over and over again?
And they get to fall in love every day.
Hopefully CBS will go further down the tubes for reporting this story...
Alzheimer’s killed my Uncle. The problem is, he didn’t have it, my Aunt did. The things that they do are not conscious decisions. When she caused a car accident she told the EMT’s that she didn’t know my Uncle. He was removed from the ambulance and removed from the hospital later by the police. He died of a heart attack in a rented car 24 hours later. I wouldn’t be surprised if the woman’s family had her removed or if the hospital suggested one of them transfer.
As our population gets more older people, there will be a lot more of this.
God bless those going through this kind of torture.
Nobody wants our loved ones to lose their minds and to forget their whole past lives.
Very sad, a family tragedy for whoever goes through this.
Because of O’Connor being high profile and tabloids being in business to make money, they have zero problem reporting the ongoing tragedy of her family.
Tragedy sells, just look at Britney, Lohan and Mike Tyson.
Was this “news” written before or after the news writers at seeBS went on strike?
I know, I know, same chit, different day.
I agree. To me this demonstrates her deep love for her husband. Her main concern is for him to have some peace and comfort and if this is a common type event in the lives of these patients then I can understand how she would be happy. This is NOT the husband she married and lived with all those years. That is a memory. This is her husband now that is another person and for her to be happy that he is happy says a lot about the love they have shared. I give her and her family credit for understanding this and behaving accordingly. God bless them all. As for the press trying to contact the son...they should for once in their pitiful lives mind their own damned business and take care of their own houses before they try to force their way into the lives of others.
Well since their son was interviewed and seemed to have no problem with it, why do you assume CBS is at fault and DON'T have the family's blessing to report this? I mean aside from their usual misplaced intentions.
He’s at a child like state now, and if it is nonviolent, then that is a blessing.
I hear Reagan who was at his core a real nice man was also docile while going through this process for the most part.
She considers this a little blessing I think.
True, but, I’m strangely comforted when people are interested in the minute details of the private lives of (former) US Supreme Court justices instead of Brittany, K-Fed, Kanye and the rest.
Tiger Beat with Steven Hawking on the cover?
And, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Had Reagan been in this situation, there would have been stories and blow by blow pictures for money all over the place.
So, you can’t be a high profile public person using a public facility and expect your privacy or frankly your dignity. Shameful, but true I guess.
I really hate the media.
On a side note, President Bush looks so young in that picture. If I'm reading the properties correctly, it's from 2 years ago.
Take him home!
Well, it is; but think it would have remained even sweeter had they honored the privacy of all involved. . .
Why is this a news story? This is a personal family matter and the reporter who broke this has got to be scum.
I agree. When are the CBS news writers going on strike? It couldn’t be soon enough for me.
Think I could try that on my wife. “Get, I forgot I was married. Who did you say you are?”
1. Pointless invasion of privacy.
2. 50 first dates.
The family may be too small to handle it.
Plus madam Justice is too old herself to handle it I am sure.
Could also be a money issue.
I mean, if you want to start some charity to support his home care, go for it.
I recall reading, in a article about schizophrenia, that despite our advances we still know so little about how the brain operates that doctors aren't even certain why aspirin has the effect it does. Maybe in 100 years there will be cures for both alzheimer's and schizophrenia, but today both are a mystery.
I agree—this is a strange story, not “strangely sweet”. This is one step away from talking about eating habits and adult diapers. What is the point of this? To embarrass her? To educate on Alzheimer’s behavior? This is a private family matter, especially now that she is no longer a public figure.
This is just sad. What a terrible disease.
Will there be a follow up story when “Kay’s” husband reads this and finds out what the hospital has been allowing to go on?
I sure hope not.
Money a issue? please I would have taken him home.
It doesn’t work that way.
In many cases, it’s not just memory loss, but a complete dementia. People like this often end up bedridden and incapable of feeding themselves or using the toilet.
And Justice O’Connor doesn’t look to be in the kind of shape for that task.
Words fail me as to how sad and heartbreaking this story is.
I may not agree with Justice O’Connor, but I wouldn’t wish this hell on my worst enemy.
She could afford to do it, had the secret service and lord knows who else to help her.
They can afford in home care. I would have taken him home!
Now the above is the ideal situation, I am a healthy athletic guy and the emotional and physical requirements of the above almost took me to my limits, so how does a woman in her 80s with a guy with little of his old mind left to help her get all this done?
Can’t be done at home without lots of help and money, to think otherwise seems illogical to me, at least based on my life experiences.
Alzheimer’s is one of nature’s cruel little tricks. Both parents were afflicted (Dad died two months ago); we still don’t really know how it’s affected Mom, since she shows very, very little emotion over it - and they were happily married for just under 67 years.
My healthy active mother dropped dead of a heart attack three years ago and we moved my Alzheimer’s dad in with us. After three years it simply became too much and we recently moved him into a lovely nursing home 5 miles from where we live. He’s only one of three men in the 12 room Alzheimer’s unit, by far the highest functioning and two women are now vying for his attention. They don’t talk, dad often doesn’t make much sense but he enjoys talking to them and they just smile and nod back. It really is quite sweet and he is getting much more attention and better care then he was with us. It was heartbreaking for me when we placed him but he definately is in a much better place. I would not wish this disease on anyone.
Every morning he meets her for the first time.
The disease sucks, and as our nation gets older, we are going to see lots more of it.
Sorry about your parents. Love their long term marriage.
I just got married in August. I love her and marriage.
What your parents accomplished is wonderful.
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