French widower, 91, finds love through garden sign

Sophie Inge
Sophie Inge - [email protected]
French widower, 91, finds love through garden sign

A 91-year-old French widower from south-western France, who planted a sign at the bottom of his garden to alert potential companions, has finally ended his quest to find a soulmate after an 86-year-old woman answered his plea.


Many people turn to the internet or the classified sections of newspapers to advertise for a soul mate.

Not 91-year-old French widower Roger-Marc Grenier, who came up with a much simpler idea.

In April, the nonagenarian, who lost his wife five years ago, hit French headlines when he put up a sign in his garden in Libourne in the south-western region of Aquitaine. It read, starkly: “Because of a death, I’m seeking a woman, to live together. 70-80 years old. With or without a car”, followed by his telephone number.

Eight months on, and the pensioner’s quest for a soul mate appears to have reached a happy conclusion. 

Last month, the 91-year-old received a phone call that would change his life.

The call was from 86-year-old Yolande, from the town of Arveyres, just 7 km from Grenier’s home. Their conversation made such an impression on Grenier that he arranged to meet her within minutes.

“Many women called me, but there were lots who were completely worthless. When Yoyo called me, I got into the car right away,” Grenier told Sud-Ouest newspaper. “I told her: ‘Listen, I’ll be at your place in ten minutes’. She waited for me in front of the gate.

“Obviously, she is quite old – you can’t have everything. But she is really, really great,” he added.

Speaking to Sud-Ouest about their first meeting, a smiling Yolande said: “We got each other on the phone and he came over to my place very quickly. And then we came to an arrangement.”

Yolande, known by the nickname “Yoyo”, has already moved into Grenier’s home, along with her dog Bianca and several chickens.

“The first day she arrived here, we slept in the same bed,” Grenier said. “We want to go back to family life, quite simply.

“I met some women who wanted to spend the time just talking. But I want someone to accompany me, who I can count on. We walk the dog, we live a normal home life.”

Although both say they hope the relationship will last “as long as possible”, Yolande, who has kept her home in Arveyres said: “I told him all the same that if he gets on my nerves, I’ll go back to my apartment.” 

Grenier will be hoping he doesn't have to dust-off his garden sign anytime soon.

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