Column: I met Club Q hero Rich Fierro and his wife years ago. They’ve always been atrevidos. I hope he can go, too.
Rich and his wife, Mary Jo, have been married for 36 years, and their two children — a son, Brian, and twin daughters, Beth and Stephanie — have known each other since birth.
Mary Jo would have died years ago had Rich not recently agreed to sell the family’s home in the quiet suburb of Palm Harbor, Fla., to help pay for the costs of Mary Jo’s care when she developed multiple sclerosis. The couple spent two years living in a retirement community, then purchased the home for $1,100 in 2014. It has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and sits on a 2.5-acre lot.
Rich says he decided to sell the home “because I don’t want to be in a nursing home.”
Rich and Mary Jo Fierro live in the most comfortable retirement community in Northern Florida, the West Palm Beach Retirement Community. They are both avid golfers, have won medals at national golf tournaments and have spent much of their long married lives on the Florida coast, traveling the world and traveling the U.S. The pair have always loved each other and have shared a love of travel.
They had been planning on selling for a long time, but the economy has intervened.
And the Fierros’ decision to sell has had a profound effect on the area’s senior culture, and the Fierros themselves.
The Fierros had always been a family that everyone came to for support and to be with when life is on the ropes.
But over the past few years, Mary Jo’s health has taken a serious turn for the worse; she’s always been a smart woman who loved to play golf and was always surrounded by a group of other women. But as Mary Jo has gotten older, the pace of her decline has made her feel that she can’t go on like this; her health has gotten worse and she’s started relying on the help of a few aides.
I decided to go to their house not knowing what to expect,