Community unites to help elderly couple

World War II veteran Bill Gwynn, 92, holds one of the containers used to collect donations at local fundraisers to help him and his wife Henrietta, 88, keep their home. Courtesy photo

LA FERIA — Bill Gwynn is 92 years old, a World War II veteran and lives with his wife Henrietta, 88, in a mobile home they have rented for years.

But after receiving an eviction notice due to unpaid rent, the elderly couple found themselves in a legal dispute to clarify some misunderstandings, according to their lawyer.

“At some point there was confusion about who owned the property,” said Travis Bence, who represents the couple.

After the death of their landlord, Bill and his wife stopped paying rent. The couple was confused about who to pay, according to Bence.

The new landlord, in turn, issued them an eviction notice after not receiving rent for several months.

According to Bence, the issue was mainly a lack of communication between both parties.

Eric Hoff, who took interest in the couple’s situation, said the landlord asked for $3,000 upfront as payment.

That’s when Hoff and several local organizations began holding fundraisers to help the Gwynns.

The American Legion of La Feria and the Texas Rose Bar hosted several events with music and food in hopes of helping the couple.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Henrietta said. “I didn’t think we would have any help, and we didn’t expect it.”

According to Bence, both parties have reached an agreement to avoid eviction and includes future rent owed and a future lease term.