Pair mark 70 years together

December 06, 1999

Ernets and Margery HunsbergerBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Ernest Hunsberger didn't want a steady girlfriend until he had his own car. So when his father bought him a new Model T Ford roadster in 1927, one of the first things he did was give a ride to Margery Eckhart.

"I was walking home from church when he picked me up," Margery said. Seventy years ago today, on Dec. 7, 1929, she became Margery Hunsberger. Their union produced two sons and so far seven decades of happy married life, they said.

She said the secret to their success together was to "sleep on it."

"We argued and fussed some over the years but we learned to get over it by morning," she said. "We didn't always have to have our own way and always tried to work things out together. He was always thoughtful of me."


Ernest attributes their success to the basics. "She's a good cook," he said.

Ernest is 90 and Margery is 88. They knew each other in Limerick, Pa., a small town west of Philadelphia.

He grew up on a farm there and Margery moved there when her father bought a farm. Ernest had graduated from the town's one-room school by the time Margery had started there. To the best of their recollection they've know each other since 1924. Their families attended the same church.

They started dating in 1927, shortly after Ernest stopped to ask Margery if she wanted a ride home from church. "She lived about two miles away," Ernest said.

"His memory is better than mine," Margery said.

She has pictures of the car in her wallet, including one showing her sitting on the running board - a pretty young woman in a white dress.

Ernest said the roadster was one of the last Model Ts to come off the Ford assembly line. "We went on our honeymoon in it," he said. He sold the car two years later to buy a Model A, he said. "I wish I had kept it," he said.

Ernest still drives, and makes three trips a week to the Greencastle Senior Center, where on Monday a small surprise party complete with anniversary cake was held in their honor.

Over the weekend they drove to Limerick for an anniversary dinner at a restaurant with old friends and family, Ernest said.

Ernest and Margery lived, worked and reared their two sons - Robert, 54, and Thomas, 52 - in Limerick until February 1998, when they moved into a small apartment their son, Thomas, and daughter-in-law, Carol Hunsberger, built for them on Binkley Road in Greencastle.

Margery said she and Ernest enjoy living in Greencastle and like going to the senior center, but they get a little homesick for Limerick.

The couple's health is still good, they say. Margery had a stroke a while back and uses a walker at times, but she gets around quite well, she said.

"The Lord has been good to us," she said

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