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Sequim pair marks 67 years

Twenty-three houses and 27 cars later, George and Olive Anderson will celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary in Sequim on March 20.

"It's all been good," Olive, 88, said reminiscing with George, 90.

"Absolutely," George said.

George met Olive in 1940 at the University of Washington. His first sight of Olive was her sitting on the hood of his Model A Ford drinking an Olympic Stubby beer and smoking a cigarette.

They've been in love ever since.

About two years later, they married on one of the busiest days of George's life. He took his last final exam for college, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army and officially welcomed the woman of his dreams into his life.

George's first assignment was working on top-secret radar projects in Cambridge, Mass., at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"He'd leave home early morning and not come back until 10 o'clock," Olive said.

"One husband said he only saw his wife in a nightgown," George said.

The Andersons have lived in many places in the U.S. and other countries. After George finished his time in the Army, he joined the Air Force, and he and Olive lived in Morocco from 1954-1956. They said the experience ranks as one of their best times.

The Andersons had two children, Peter in 1943 and Christine in 1949.

Peter now lives in Southern California near his family of four children and three grandchildren.

Christine died in 1969 at the age of 20 in an auto accident during a road trip with friends.

"It was the tragedy of our lives," George said.

Through the loss, the Andersons stayed strong and worked hard to make their relationship last.

"We are as fortunate as any couple," George said.



Careers

George retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1964 as a colonel. While living in Los Angeles, George founded the local American Automobile Association's communications department, in a time before computers.

"All the girls in the office were happy when we got electric typewriters," he said.

He went on to become communications director for San Francisco and Los Angeles stock exchange groups. Eventually, he retired from the city of San Bernardino, Calif., as a communications consultant for the city's departments.

Olive was the University of Southern California's financial aid officer, an admissions counselor and eventually registrar.

"She was a wheel. All the kids naturally loved her because she handed out the money," George said.



Onward to Sequim

The Andersons have lived in the Sequim area for 27 years. They had never heard of the town until they visited a friend

in Forks who owned a lumber mill. Sequim charmed them and they fell in love again.

They bought a property in 1981 and moved the following year to the bluff near Port Angeles. They later bought property in Sequim and moved into a new home years later. In 2000, they built another home next door and moved in.

George is originally from Dash Point, near Tacoma, and Olive is from Burlington, near Mount Vernon.

"Of all the places we've lived, we love Sequim the best," George said.

"I would imagine we're in a position to make a judgment, too, after all these years," Olive said.

"We've found it doesn't matter where you are so much as whom you are with."



How to make it last

The Andersons have found many hobbies together through their lives. They enjoy sailing and have owned a handful of different boats. They were active members in the Sequim Bay Yacht Club for 25 years.

In 1994, they sold their last boat because Olive wasn't able to pull George out of the water if there were an emergency. They were capable to boat, but they didn't want to risk the danger.

"We watched John Wayne Marina being built," Olive said.

George said they were among the area's original kayakers, too, as they often used their two-person kayak.

They also operate ham radios together. George has been doing ham for 70 years and Olive for 20.

Their hobbies have pulled them together, but so have their attitudes.

"I'm so good-natured. I'm a lover not a fighter," Olive said.

"She's always right," George said.

"You bet! He's a fast learner," Olive said.

After 67 years of marriage, George is close to running out of ideas on what to get Olive.

"I have given her diamonds and taken her on trips and to dinner. I'm trying to think of what else to give. I'll just keep giving smiles," George said.

The Andersons said they have never fought. They had disagreements but never fought. Their advice can be summed up in one sentence each.

"It takes two to tango," George said.

"Don't sweat the small stuff," Olive said.



Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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