Mary Leigh and Ed Anderson have a long history together here in Louisville. Those who know the couple know every bit of that history thanks to Ed, who loves to tell stories and jokes to family, friends and anyone who will listen.
A 1943 graduate of St. Xavier High School, Ed has worked hard to build a tradition of St. X graduates in his family, sending his four sons to the school, who then sent their sons to St. X. Though he’s highly dedicated to his alma mater, his greatest devotion lies with his wife of 64 years.
Ed and Mary Leigh sat down with me, their granddaughter, to talk about their history together and to tell a few of Ed’s favorite stories, as well.
How did you meet?
Ed was only on his third day of leave from the service, when a life-threatening automobile accident sent him to St. Joseph’s Infirmary hospital in Louisville. There, Mary Leigh was working as a nurse and was assigned to help Ed through his injuries.
“I lost 27 days of leave because I was in the hospital,” Ed said. “I’ll tell you when it was – 5:30 in the morning, March 1, 1944.”
Lying on the hospital bed, bandaged completely with just one eye showing, Ed joked, “She fell in love with my left eye.”
How did he propose?
“Gosh, I’m trying to think,” Mary Leigh said. “I don’t know.”
After 64 years of marriage, it can be hard to remember that far back in time. But, Ed is certain he knows the answer: “I know. Right there under the mailbox. You said, ‘I’m not going to wait any longer. Either now or forget it.’ I said, ‘OK, will you marry me?’”
“I swear I don’t even remember that,” Mary Leigh chuckled. “Isn’t that something.”
How do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
When it comes to arguing, Ed simply won’t do it.
“Anytime I want to argue he gets up and leaves the room.” Mary Leigh said with a grin. “I cannot get a good argument going. It would make me so mad sometimes. He would just get up and leave the room, and I had no alternative but to just stop.”
The couple would always settle their disputes quickly, often because they simply forgot why they were arguing to begin with. “We just let it go until both of us cooled down and it was forgotten,” Ed said.
How do you divide up household chores?
“She was a great housekeeper, and a great cook, no question,” Ed said. “I was working three jobs at one time. She had to do all of it.”
However, since growing old together, Ed has begun to share in the household chores.
“He grows vegetables outside and does the grocery shopping,” Mary Leigh said. “He takes me where I don’t feel like I’m capable of driving. He has really tried to help me a lot.”
Where do you like to go when you’re out ‘n’ about?
With several grandchildren involved in sports, Mary Leigh and Ed have spent years attending their grandkids’ baseball, soccer, football and volleyball games. Currently, they keep busy watching their grandson Eric’s St. X baseball games as well as their granddaughter Taylor’s gymnastic competitions.
“We do anything that involves the kids,” Mary Leigh said. “We’ve watched all the grandkids in something I think.”
What is one thing you always do as a couple?
“We go to church together every Sunday,” Mary Leigh said. “It’s been our faith in God that has pulled us through everything.”
What is some advice you would offer couples – new or old – who desire to walk through life in tandem?
This question brought the couple to a brief pause. “Wait a minute now, I’ll have an opinion,” Ed assured. “Before you act, sleep on it.”
Mary Leigh offered slightly different advice: “Overlook the little things and pray that you’ll be able to conquer the big things.”
“I like mine better.” Ed joked.
Ed: “I hang up my clothes every morning and clean up the bathroom.”
“You do?” Mary Leigh questioned. “When was that?”
Mary Leigh: “Don’t pick for every little thing that irritates you.”
“But you complain all the time,” Ed teased.
“Well I’m just giving advice for the future generation,” Mary Leigh said with a laugh.
April 10, 1947
Mickey, Lynn, Denny (deceased), Kevin, Gary and Karen. The couple has 12 grandchildren (one deceased) and four great-grandchildren.
Ed was an IRS agent for seven years before becoming a self-employed tax accountant for 61 years. Mary Leigh described her occupation: “64 years of housewife – excellent housewife.”
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Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).