Chatfield couple's devotion
thrives through 76 years of marriage
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 3:19 AM
LuVerne Eddy's stakes were stacked three girls high in one ditch.
LuVerne and Kathleen Eddy have been married over three-quarters of a century.
"I had to ditch three girls just for her," said the Chatfield resident, recounting how he gave up the attention of three young ladies to capture the affection of one girl, Kathleen, the one with whom he's spent the last 76 years. The 99-year-old has no regrets about his decision - it's been the best he ever made, and given that he's approaching his 100th birthday, he's made millions of them.
The current Mr. and Mrs. Eddy's history together began miles apart, as Kathleen awoke to life far to the north. "I was born and raised in Canada - I was born June 24, 1915. My dad was American and my mother was Canadian. I had dual citizenship for many years...I was literally neither one."
LuVerne was born in Canton on July 15, 1913, and graduated from Chatfield High School in 1933, having been a member of the Chosen Valley High School football team and, apparently, a guy with some charm, charm enough to lasso those three girls he eventually dropped flat for the Canadian-American he thought could be his own.
The boy met the girl in Bonair, Iowa, located just outside of Cresco. The girl was living in tiny Bonair to be close to her grandparents and soon found herself bored out of her mind because she didn't go to school.
I was in tenth grade and we didn't have a bus," Kathleen said. "His aunt and uncle had a little general store they operated across the street from the post office where my grandfather was postmaster, and I learned to like his aunt and uncle."
She accompanied them to Prosper, Minn., where, by chance, she encountered LuVerne and his brother at a family gathering. "I went with his brother Norman first, briefly before we started dating."
Norman just wasn't LuVerne, however. And even though LuVerne was smitten with Kathleen, he wasn't up for waiting on her for too long - she loved to dance, and when they finally became a couple, they toured the corner of the state in a darling little tan Chevrolet with suicide doors. Kathleen wishes she could now have that car back! The couple went out dancing on their dates, and took in every dance.
LuVerne remembered his frustration with the outgoing dame at one of their dances. "I was up at a ballroom in Rochester...we were up there dancing," he explained. "I wasn't dancing with her at all because she knew lots of people, so I left her there. I thought, 'She can have it.'"
She somehow made it home and forgave him for leaving her there, because the Eddys were married soon after, in 1937, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa.
"We had a double wedding with my sister and her fiancé," Kathleen recalled.
LuVerne stated, "It didn't take long to do - only about 10 minutes. I had $6.50 in my pocket. I got $6.50 a week at the creamery, and I gave the minister $5. He didn't give me any change."
Kathleen explained why this caused LuVerne some serious dismay. "This was the Depression years, and we had to live on that $6.50."
She added that he had some other cause for minor upset...there was another man. "The day we married, this guy I knew called my mother and told her to put in a good word for him, but I married LuVerne because I knew he was honest in his dealings and I figured he would make a good father for our children someday."
The couple spent their first nine years living in Saratoga, tending to the Saratoga Creamery and raising their two children.
The first, Newell, was born in 1941 at the old Chatfield home hospital, and the second, Cheryl, in 1944, "nearly in the elevator on the way up to the delivery room," according to the couple.
They lived in Eyota for the next 46 years, LuVerne working at a creamery and Kathleen in the jewelry department at Dayton's in Rochester for 28 years - she retired at 74, having "loved every minute."
Their home was a busy place during the time their children were growing, according to Kathleen. "We had such wonderful friends, and Sundays were for visiting then. Our house was like a party on Sundays . . . all the kids' friends came and danced to 'American Bandstand' with Dick Clark. We have kids who come to visit us now who practically grew up at our house."
The Eddys kept busy with their family, the arrival of their grandchildren - they have three grandsons and two granddaughters.
Both have held offices in the Order of the Eastern Star and LuVerne was active in Masons. The couple enjoyed traveling and attending church at Faith United Methodist Church in Eyota.
LuVerne listed they've been to Great Britain, Germany, Italy, "been to Hawaii three times, been to Rome, and her family lives in Canada yet, so we went up there."
His wife shared, "LuVerne always fished in Canada, where my relatives lived...he went up to the Northwest Territory to fish."
Now that they're decidedly retired and living at the Chosen Valley Care Center, they spend their days together in their room, reading, chatting or welcoming visitors.
Kathleen admitted, "I read everything under the sun, and if I didn't have anything to read, I'd read the phone book. He likes to watch every sport in Chatfield, and he likes mechanics magazines. And he likes to eat and I don't."
They remain committed to one another, because after three-quarters of a century together, they know upon whom they can depend. "We loved each other then, and we still do. He had plenty of temptations, but I trusted him," Kathleen said. "When we got married, we didn't think it would be like trading in for a new car every few years. We've never renewed our vows, but we still love each other."
Kathleen concluded with a grin, "Did we ever think of divorce? No. Murder? Yes."