Craig F. Walker
Cecil Bethea and Carl Shepherd met in a Denver bar in 1969. Forty-four years later, when Carl entered a nursing home suffering from dementia, Cecil became his guardian, making the life-long partners ineligible for a Colorado civil union, legalized in 2013. Cecil, 83, shaves his 72-year-old partner during one of his many visits to The Spearly Center, where Carl lives, in Denver, CO. "As I remember in the old time wedding vows, there was a phrase in there, 'in sickness and in health,'" Cecil says. "Well this is certainly sicknessa|a In December 2011, Carl had a stroke. He went to the hospital, then on to the nursing home. Carl has been diagnosed with dementia and since the stroke has not returned to the two-story home the pair had shared in northwest Denver since 1974.