Sweethearts reunite after 50 years

Bernie Anderson met Catherine (Ashby) Anderson while attending Towson Catholic High School, Towson, some 50 years ago and after all those years, “she is still a beautiful lady,” Mr. Anderson said about his new bride.

On Nov. 25, in front of more than 100 family, friends and old classmates, 75 year-old Mr. and Mrs. Anderson wed in the sun-filled chapel at the Carmelite Monastery in Baltimore.

The Andersons dated off and on through high school and Mr. Anderson remembers his wife being “the prettiest girl in school” and she said that she was liked by everyone she came in contact with. Mrs. Anderson said her husband was “probably the nicest guy in our class” and very involved in school.
As they reminisced about their time at Towson Catholic, they called each other honey and darling as they spoke about the dramatic club, glee club, school newspaper and yearbook and other committees they were involved in at the time. They were both very popular; he was president of his class and played football, while she played softball and belonged to the church choir.

“She was my first heartthrob,” said Mr. Anderson.

After graduating in 1948, Mrs. Anderson went to Drexel University to study art while Mr. Anderson stayed home and attended the John Hopkins University, Baltimore. Eventually they both got married to other people and started families. For 50 years they had no contact whatsoever; Mr. Anderson said they didn’t even know if the other was still alive.

When they saw each other at a high school reunion, they were both happily married.

Five years went by and Mrs. Anderson’s first husband died very suddenly and when she attended the next reunion Mr. Anderson’s wife had become very ill with diabetes. They parted ways again until Mrs. Anderson heard that Mr. Anderson’s wife had died and she called to give her condolences.

“I sent him a Mass card and a prayer that had helped me when my husband died,” said Mrs. Anderson.

At the couple’s 58th high school reunion they sat next to each other and talked about old time, afterward they exchanged letters and e-mails almost daily. Mr. Anderson even remembers the food they ate on one of their very first dates, a Thai dinner at her daughter’s house.

“Whatever flame was there 50 years ago had reignited,” said Mr. Anderson. “She has a delightful personality.”

After just a few months of dating the couple decided to get married.

“We both knew what it took to make a marriage work,” said Mr. Anderson who attends daily Mass with his wife at the Carmelite Monastery. “We are 75 and we think we know each other well enough so we said why not?”

Mrs. Anderson said there was no question that the sparks that were once there in high school came back because when they left school nothing had been resolved, “we just went on our marry way.”

The couple feels they have shared the same life experiences with raising a family and losing a spouse. They have no regrets about the past, they talk openly about their first spouses but they try to live each day in the present and look to the future. Mrs. Anderson said she was fortunate to marry her college sweetheart and now her high school sweetheart.

“It just feels like it was meant to be, like there was a force guiding us back together,” said Mrs. Anderson who enjoys attending daily Mass with her husband since her first husband wasn’t Catholic. “It’s nice to have someone to sit next to you at Mass.”

Since the wedding the two families have merged nicely. Mrs. Anderson brought three children and four grandchild to the marriage while Mr. Anderson brought five children and 12 grandchildren.

“Years ago I found a treasure and put it on the shelf and forgot about it and just recently I discovered it again,” explained Mr. Anderson.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.