Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 6, 2013

Still lovebirds after 70 years

Jitterbugging at the old Crystal Ballroom on Haverhill Street was a favorite pastime for Douglas Howe back in the day.

When a police officer threw him out from one of the dances, he knew he’d be back.

He loved to dance and soon had a pretty girl from Lawrence on his arm. He wanted to show her off.

So back he went to the Crystal Ballroom with Marie and he was able to get back in. They were just teenagers and they would return often, dancing the nights away.

Doug is now 92, Marie is 93. But the dancing memories — there certainly are a lot of them — still bring a smile to their faces.

After spending much of their lives in Andover, the Howes now call the Meadows in North Andover home. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Saturday, June 8.

“All those silly things he did to make me smile still make me smile,” Marie said of their successful marriage. “That’s what he did.”

Doug, who was a Navy pilot and proudly wore his uniform on the couple’s wedding day in 1943, just shrugged as he listened to his wife, a nursing school graduate, pay him compliments last week.

“They really are lovebirds,” said Michelle Merrill, activity director at the Meadows. “Marie still rests her head on her husband’s shoulder.”

The Howes lived with their four children — three boys and a girl — on Arundel and Kenilworth streets before settling in the Smithshire Estates neighborhood.

Doug founded an insurance company and realty that was initially located on the second floor of 52 Main St.

He remembers when you could buy a house in Andover for less than $10,000 and can only shake his head at today’s housing prices.

“In 1955, you could do it ... I remember that,” he said.

Daughter Nancy Howe Erdman of Exeter, N.H., said her father ran his realty and insurance business for years in Andover. His business eventually merged with Doherty Insurance. He also sat on several boards in town over the years.

Today, the couple has 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, of which 14 are boys.

While they live in separate rooms at the Meadows, they are just steps apart.

They have no big anniversary plans, but one thing is for sure — the jitterbug fan will be showing off his pretty girl from Lawrence.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    Courtesy photo Megan McCann, left, and Melanie Scharn, right, have launched a fundraising campaign to assist Tammy Jusczak, center, a longtime toddler teacher at Bright Horizons in Andover who is battling cancer.

    A bright spot: Co-workers, parents support day-care teacher with cancer Posted 12 hours ago 1 Photo

    Frances Y.J. Wheeler/Courtesy photo Andover Garden Club welcomes new members, from left, Donna Rudolph, Chris McDermott, Paula Eriksen, Erin Ryan, Debbie Freedman, Anne Collins, Barbara Reichter, Isabel Seely, Caroline Grady and Heather Moody Holman as club president Anne Feeney, left rear, looks on. Fellow new member Linda Shottes Bouchard is missing from the photo.

    Growth spurt for Andover Garden Club Posted 12 hours ago 1 Photo

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 14 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 14 days ago

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 14 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, July 10, 2014
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 21 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 21 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 21 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 21 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 28 days ago 2 Photos

Pictures of the Week