It was a morning like most others. Don Onken, then 78, was on the golf course, while his wife, Diane, was poring over paperwork in her office, where she worked as a Realtor.

Then the phone rang. Don seems to be “unwell,” his golf buddies told Diane. They’d sat him down, but he was mumbling a bit.

“I just knew it was a stroke,” said Diane.

An ambulance took him to UC San Francisco, which is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

This wasn’t the only emergency to take place in their 50-plus year marriage. 

Decades ago, they lost a 10-year-old son to leukemia and a newborn daughter died suddenly. “You never get over that,” Diane said. But the latter years had been kind. Their surviving child had flourished and had a family of his own. The couple enjoyed trips to Europe and socializing with friends.