Preston’s Claire and Ed Loranger celebrate 60th anniversary
June 20, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
Claire Loranger has been married for 60 years to the same man. She hesitates for nary a second to reveal her secret.
“I call it extreme patience,” she said.
It never hurts to say that, but it helps even more when it comes from an expert.
Ed Loranger a product of Bellevue, met the Massachusetts-born, Montana-raised Claire while she was in town babysitting for an ailing aunt. Ed was the aunt’s mechanic. To keep a bored Claire from returning home, her aunt and uncle set her up on a date with Ed.
Fresh from a tour in Korea, soldier Ed was looking for an old-fashioned girl.
A lifelong Catholic and the sister of a nun, Claire was looking for someone who had seen the world.
The year was 1951; she was 21 and he was 27. A year later, they were married in her hometown of Anaconda.
Sixty years later, they have three children, three grandchildren and a pile of hobbies. Well, she does the hobbies: bowling, traveling, choir, skiing and curling, or as Ed called it “watching paint dry.”
Claire laughs and accepts her husband’s reticence toward most things social.
At events, the talkative Claire and the quiet Ed make quite a pair. They arrive together, but often they leave apart.
“He’s the first one out, I’m the last one out,” Claire said. “I’m more social than he is.”
It wasn’t always that way. Fresh from Montana back in the 1950s, Claire knew not a soul. Her friends were Ed’s friends and her family was all in Montana.
Now, she said, she would not trade her home in Preston for anything. Some family remains in Montana, but most of her longtime friends live a short drive away. She still returns to Montana once a year.
This August, turnabout is fair play, as the Montana family and friends will travel to Preston to celebrate the Lorangers’ milestone.
“Not that they were surprised, but they couldn’t believe it,” she said of friends’ reaction to the news that the mechanic and the schoolteacher made it six decades together. “They all say to me, ‘You don’t look that age,’ and I always make some smart remark like, ‘It’s the face cream.’”
It takes more than face cream to go 60 years together. Even Estée Lauder got divorced. It’s all about the patience.
“You don’t try to change each other anymore,” Claire said.
It also helps if you give each other space.
“I sort of know what he’s thinking but when he’s out the door, I never know where he’s going,” she said.
Odds are, he’s not going very far, and if he is, he will return.
“I think I’m more in love with her now than I was to begin with,” Ed said.