Roy, Amedee and Edna

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                                         EDNA & AMEDEE ROY
                             Roys mark 78 years of love and laughter together
                                         By Laura MacInnis

HAMMOND RIVER – It was almost 80 years ago that Amedee Roy met the woman of his dreams at a picnic in Neguac. Unfortunately, he had a girlfriend at the time, but Amedee had a solution for that. He drove his girlfriend home early at 6 p. m. and then came back to talk to Edna.

On Sept. 26, Amedee and Edna celebrated their 78th wedding anniversary. Edna is 95 and Amedee is 99. Both still live together at home in Hammond River.

They have five children: Norman, Lola, Odette, Marc and Ulysse; along with 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

On Wednesday afternoon, sitting in front of their big picture window on a beautiful fall day, Amdedee gave his wife a good ribbing. He swore up and down she was the one to court him. “She used to chase me,” he said with a gleam in his eye. “She used to walk 5 miles to see me every day.” “I never did that,” Edna refuted, only pretending to be stern. Truth is, it was Amedee who walked those five miles to Edna’s family home in Neguac from his house in Lagacé, now called Lagacéville.

The couple married in 1933 in Neguac. “I got married and went right back to work the next day. For a dollar a day,” he recalled. Asked how they made their marriage work for nearly eight decades, it was Amedee that piped up with his tip for a long, happy life together. “You can’t argue with the women,” he laughed. Edna admitted they never did fight much, and if anyone was the arguer it was probably her.

But in watching them tease and poke each other, it is clear their recipe for success also lies in their silly, care-free natures.

“Do you think I’m good looking?” It’s Amedee’s favourite question for any woman he meets, from his daughter-in-law to nurses at the hospital. And after an affirmative answer will elicit a good, long chuckle from him.

Prankster: Amedee played jokes as welder

“What else are they supposed to say?” says his wife. “They wouldn’t lie,” he laughed some more.

In their younger days the couple moved to Saint John where Amedee became a welder for Ocean Steel and worked until he turned 65.

“He tried to trick them so he could stay longer. He really didn’t want to leave but they had no choice back then,” said their daughter-in-law who now lives with them and looks after them. She said his prankster personality really shone through on the job. Many times they would take time to weld their coworkers’ shoes to the floor. “We’d put wet tea bags in one fella’s pocket,” he recalled.

While still living in Neguac, Edna delivered babies as a midwife – a trade she learned from her family. “My mother delivered babies, too. She was almost like a doctor,” Edna said.

In Saint John she took in boarders and baked bread her husband would take to sell at Ocean Steel every Friday.

The family purchased the Hammond River property with the intention of fixing it up and selling it, but after Amedee’s retirement it became home and has been for the last 35 years.

Edna has suffered health-wise the last few years. She’s had three heart attacks and complete kidney failure and had to stay in palliative care earlier this year.

Edna welcomed babies as midwife

As soon as they gave her the green light to come back though, she all but sprinted home.

At nearly 100, Amedee has been lucky. He’s got a good strong heart and only takes half a blood pressure pill everyday – no other pills. And though he just made the decision to give up driving last year, his driver’s license doesn’t expire until he turns a century old.

They celebrated 78 years of marriage in style last Monday with 37 of their closest friends and family at a Chinese restaurant in Saint John. Edna’s maid of honour, her husband’s sister, also 95, even made the trip as did her own 92-year-old sister.

Sometimes asked if it’s difficult living with her in-laws, their daughter-in-law says for her it’s a joy.

“They are so loving with each other,” she said as she watched Amedee help his wife over to her chair and button her sweater. “When they go to bed at night and the lights go out, I always hear laughing from their room… They are just a great example of marriage.”

Source: Miramichi Leader – October 3, 2011

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