FREEPORT – Kathy Roy says the nicest thing her husband has done for her is to “put up with her,” and just share his life.
Randy Roy has her beat.
“The nicest thing she’s done is have my children,” he said as the two shared memories of their marriage recently at their Freeport home. “She’s a very caring person. She’s an excellent mother and a great cook and she makes sure I don’t take things too seriously, which I tend to do.”
Baby boomers Kathy and Randy Roy have raised three children together in 38 years of marriage, and are a good example of how couples manage to keep the relationship strong.
They have lived in Freeport throughout their marriage. He is vice president of operations for the Hope Group of South Portland, which distributes hydraulics and other motion instruments, and she works at Martin’s Point Health Care in Portland.
“We both have good work ethics,” Kathy Roy said. “His is probably stronger than mine. I like to have fun. But he’s funny. He can make me laugh. He is a big tease.”
The Roys – she is 59, he’s 60 – go back to 1970, when he was a junior and she was a freshman at Freeport High School. It was a blind date.
As Randy Roy recalls it, “My friend and his cousin kept harassing me about taking this girl to a round-robin basketball game in Yarmouth. They said, ‘Don’t worry about it, you don’t have to marry her.’ I ended up doing hard time.”
Not without a hiatus, however.
The former Kathy Bly and Roy had a fun time on that first date.
“I really don’t remember too much about the basketball game,” she said. “He was handsome.”
But at that juncture of their lives, a two-year age difference mattered. After he graduated high school and enrolled in the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham (now the University of Southern Maine), the two went their separate ways.
They got back together, interestingly enough, at a wedding.
It was 1974.
“We had different dates for the wedding,” she recalled. “Randy and I went together after the party, and I don’t know what happened. It must have just kind of clicked again.”
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said, “and she matured.”
A year later, on June 14, 1975, they were married, in what turned out to be a nice outdoor ceremony in Yarmouth. His best friend, the late Dave Mayberry, who “set them up” in the first place, presided.
“It was an early summer wedding, and it was foggy and rainy that morning,” he said. “It cleared off just in time for the wedding.”
As they set out on their lives together, Randy Roy was on his way to a good career with the Hope Group. Armed with a degree in business administration, he worked for a company that evolved into his present employer.
“He doesn’t like change,” she said.
After four years of marriage, they began the parenthood journey. Joshua is now 34, Emilie is 30, and Rebekah is 25. Kathy Roy started out working at Union Mutual, which became Unum, then ran a day care center from the couple’s first home on Flying Point Road. She then took a position as an educational technician at Freeport Elementary School.
“It was the perfect job for a mother,” she said.
The secret to their success?
“We both have good work ethics,” she said.
But the Roys haven’t forgotten how to have a good time. He performs and sings with the Freeport Players, doing community theater at the Freeport Performing Arts Center. His wife is a fan.
“That’s one of the nicest things that she does for me,” her husband said.
Larry Grard is a reporter for Current Publishing.