Saline couple keeps romance alive for more than 70 years

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 12/19/2018 - 13:34
William 'Bud' Tracy and his wife Connie Tracy
William 'Bud' Tracy and his wife Connie celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June. (all photos courtesy of Brecon Village - EHM Senior Solutions)

William “Bud” and Connie Tracy of Saline might have been married for more than 70 years, but they haven’t stopped romancing each other, getting together daily for lunch and monthly for a movie date.

Bud lives in Brecon Village’s Independent Living facility, while Connie lives in the Memory Support Center, but Bud makes a point of having lunch with his wife every day, and the two see a classic film at Saline’s Emagine Theater every first Friday of the month as part of Brecon’s partnership with the theater.

Nicole Boyer, director of sales and marketing for Brecon Village, says that though they live on different parts of the Brecon Village campus, Connie “lights up when he comes to visit.”

The couple met shortly after World War II when Bud, who is a veteran of the Navy, was attending Eastern Michigan University on the GI bill. He and a buddy took Connie and her friend on a double-date to the State Theater in Ann Arbor to see the movie “Margie.”

“While we were on our date, I asked her to go out with me the next night to University of Michigan track meet, so we had two dates in a row,” Bud Tracy remembered. “Once I dated her, I didn’t date any other woman. We just stuck.”

Bud Tracy speaks of his wife with admiration, calling her “a tomboy” and “a really good athlete” who was on two softball teams when he first met her.

“She’s so coordinated, she could beat me at a lot of things,” he said. “When we’d play co-ed softball games, the guys didn’t realize how fast she was. She would outrun the boys if they weren’t careful.”

 The couple stayed active through their married years, Bud Tracy said.

“We backpacked in the Grand Canyon, we climbed three major mountains, we canoed every river in Michigan,” he recalled. “I’ve been on 10 300-mile bicycle rides and two that were 500 miles, and Connie went with me twice.  We went backpacking a lot, and had a lot of adventures.”

Their most recent adventure was celebrating 70 years as a married couple in June. The staff at Brecon Village celebrated with a showing of the same movie they saw together all those years ago on their first date, along with cake and ice cream for all.

The couple’s long relationship is built on a foundation of shared interests, mutual admiration, and friendship.

“I was talking to my daughter about how we met, and when I thought about it, I realized I never proposed to her,” he said. “We were talking one night, and I said something about ‘After we get married,’ and she just went along with it. It was just a natural conclusion we were going to get married. We’d gone together so long and were so close in friendship that it seemed like the natural next step to take.”

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Sarah Rigg
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. She has worked in community journalism for over 20 years covering education, business, arts & culture and other topics as a reporter, with experience in copy editing, layout, and proofreading.