March 8, 2019

Love and Longevity

Philip Jonsson and his wife Diane

Philip Jonsson and his wife Diane

Soon after celebrating his 80th birthday, Philip Jonsson started feeling a little O-L-D. Slowing down was unheard of in this talented businessman’s lifestyle. For many years, he had been an active member of business and civic communities in Arkansas and Texas, working in the petroleum exploration and production industry and running financial institutions. Currently, he is the president and board chair of Signal Media Corporation, which owns and operates radio stations in Arkansas and includes Signal Media Publishing, which specializes in innovative classroom materials for the public school system.

But even with all his business and charitable activities, Jonsson had begun to settle into an all-too-comfortable sedentary existence. He knew better, after all he served on the Reynolds Institute on Aging Advisory Board, saw a geriatrician in the Thomas and Lyon Longevity Clinic, and had been told to stay active, eat right, etc., but his motivation wasn’t there.

Noticing some slight changes in Jonsson’s overall health, Dr. Jeanne Wei, director, Reynolds Institute on Aging, invited her friend to stop by the office for a visit. “She asked lots of questions and counseled me on my health practices and outlook,” he recalled.

Dr. Wei told Jonsson that with a few changes in his daily habits, he had the possibility, maybe even the probability, to live to the age of 100 or older. This good news nourished his desire for better health and put him on a new path. Increased activity, exercise, a better diet and improved sleep habits resulted in a surprising rejuvenation.

After his health and attitude renewal, his future took on bright new directions. He rekindled an earlier friendship with Diane Yost, who had enjoyed a very successful management career with Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Beverly Hills and Palm Beach. The couple had known each other for years, but careers, distance and fate never allowed their mutual interest to blossom into its “happily ever after phase.”

While no medical research suggests that improved health is the secret to finding true and lasting love, maybe you should ask Jonsson what he thinks. After 42 years as a bachelor, Philip married Diane this year on Valentine’s Day in a beautiful ceremony attended by many friends and family. She relocated from Florida and recently became a member of the Reynolds Institute Community Advisory Board.

Sedentary and O-L-D no longer describe Philip Jonsson’s lifestyle, he plans to live to be 100, thanks to his encouraging visit to Dr. Wei.