“I had not fallen in love until I met Sheila Dora Colman” recalls pensioner Ray Rowe looking back on meeting his future wife in late 50s Devon.

Sixty-four years of marriage later – their love undimmed – the couple have been reliving some of their happiest moments thanks to staff at Butterfly Lodge care home in Plymouth.

Sheila, who has dementia, has been a resident at the care home in St Budeaux since 2020, with husband Ray making sure to visit her almost every day.

With their 64th wedding anniversary coming up, staff at Butterfly Lodge decided to help the couple mark the event by putting together a slideshow of their memories.

“Not only does Ray visit daily he calls every morning like clockwork just to see how “madame” is. He’s become part of our family here as much as Sheila has,” said deputy manager Sarah McCaffrey.

“For their anniversary we wanted to do something special, and I contacted their son Gary in Glasgow and daughter Julie in Texas for some family history.

“I used this to create a slideshow of pictures and snippets of their story with Sheila’s favourite song in the background and converted it into a video presentation.

“We decorated their room with a banner and balloons and set up a table for them so they could have a romantic anniversary meal together.

“When our activities’ co-ordinator Kelly played them the video, they were both overwhelmed and spent some time reminiscing about their lives together.”

Ray met Sheila in the canteen at the Dockland Boxing Club in Devonport when she came in with a friend one day and he says the pair “clicked straight away”.

The couple were married on March 5, 1960, at St Michaels Church in Albert Road. Sheila wore a traditional white gown with a tiara and held a bouquet of red tulips.

“She looked super when I first saw her, it was quite emotional, and I was really chuffed,” said Ray.

“I had blue suede shoes to go with my light blue suit and when I knelt for the blessing, my brother Danny had written HE on the bottom of my left shoe and LP on the right shoe – HELP.

“Everyone started laughing but I didn’t know what was going on until afterward.”

Ray says Sheila always loved to dance.

“Al Martino’s Spanish Eyes always reminds me of Sheila. She loved that song and would always get up and do a flamboyant dance when it came on.”

Butterfly Lodge is one of four specialist dementia care homes run by Camelot Care in Somerset and Devon. Further details at