Now in their 80s, Bruce and Inez Leakey are parents, grandparents and for the last several years, great grandparents.
They’ve also been married for 64 years, so this Valentine’s Day it might be worthwhile for young couples to listen to what the Leakeys have to say about a successful relationship.
Both say there was a definite attraction when they met as teens in school.
Inez grew up in Ivy Lea, just outside Gananoque. “I don’t know, I liked his dimples I guess.”
Bruce remembers a very attractive young woman in those early years. “She kind of grew on me over time, but she was a good-lookin’ chick,” he said.
Attraction alone won’t keep a couple together. Both say they’ve been lucky.
Inez says shared interests like gardening meant the two spent a lot of their time together and were friends as well as being a couple.
“Our flowers and everything like that, you know, we did it together, that’s the main thing I guess.”
They would often holiday in Florida, but Inez says it’s not the big trips that make a marriage work, it’s the small things and appreciating that time together.
“We’d jump in the car and take off for Kingston or somewhere like that, go for a drive on a Sunday you know, we’d just take off.”
The pair say disagreements and even arguments are inevitable.
Bruce says it all comes down to how you deal with the conflict.
“I can’t say that we never fought, I’d be a liar if I said that, but however, we’d have our argument, go and pout, whatever you wanted to do, come back and get over it.”
Bruce and Inez say another key to a successful marriage is clearly defined lines of power, in other words, know who the boss is.
Inez says she has the lock on the title. “I’m four days older than him, that’d make me the boss wouldn’t it?”
Bruce agrees and has nothing but compliments for his wife’s leadership over the years.
“Mother’s the boss — it’s always been that way and she’s been a good boss.”
Bruce adds that also helps end those occasional arguments quickly.
“They were very short-lived… she won.”