By JESSICA ABLE
Record Staff Writer
James “Jim” Macpherson, 89, met his wife Agnes when they were kids growing up in the California neighborhood in Louisville’s West End in the 1930s.
“He was a good friend of one of my brothers. He was always in and out of the house,” Agnes Macpherson recounted in a recent interview at their home.
“I think her mother liked me better than she (Agnes) did at first,” Jim Macpherson said, chuckling.
The couple — who will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary on Dec. 27 — were among the couples honored Sept. 30 at the annual Archdiocese of Louisville Celebration of Marriage Mass held at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth Street.
Sponsored by the Family Ministries Office, the anniversary Mass is just one of the programs supported by the Catholic Services Appeal, the annual free-will offering that funds more than 100 agencies and ministries throughout the archdiocese.
The Mass — celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz — honored 157 couples celebrating 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or greater wedding anniversaries.
Following a courtship of two years, Jim and Agnes Macpherson were married in 1941 at St. Peter Church, which was located at 17th Street and Garland Avenue. Only two years into their new marriage, Jim Macpherson joined the Navy in 1943 during the height of World War II. After training in Great Lakes, Ill., he was sent to California to the U.S.S. Doyen, the ship where he would spend the majority of the next three years.
“We only saw each other once during that time, when his shipped was hit (at the Battle of Iwo Jima),” Agnes Macpherson said. “I was able to spend a couple of months with him in California.”
In 1946 when his tour of duty ended, Jim Macpherson began work as a machinist at the Louisville & Nashville (now CSX) Railroad. While continuing to work, Jim Macpherson went back to school and earned a degree. He retired from the CSX corporation in 1983 as a manager of maintenance.
During World War II, Agnes Macpherson worked at the Louisville Plate Glass Company. Since then, she has been a homemaker.
Jim Macpherson noted that the two of them have always gotten along well.
“Of course we have our little spats,” he said. “Everybody has them. But, I love her very much.”
With a sly smile, he added “And she’s a great cook.”
Agnes Macpherson, who is a year younger than her husband, agreed.
“He’s the greatest. He’s a good husband, great father and a loving grandfather. He helps me around here (the house). He does more than (I do) at times,” she recounted.
Retirement has not slowed the Macphersons. The two have done a quite of bit of traveling. They have visited Hawaii; California; Florida; Nashville, Tenn.; Branson, Mo. and Colorado.
Jim Macpherson volunteers at the L&N Credit Union. He also is a member of NARVRE (a railroad retiree organization), the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of St. John and the Knights of Columbus.
Both are members of Young at Heart, a group for senior citizens at St. Paul Church.
Jim Macpherson said he thinks many couples getting married today don’t have the same perspective on marriage as those of his generation.
“They don’t think as much about marriage as we did. Back in those days, you only got married once. Now, people get married two or three times,” he said.
The couple, who have been members at St. Paul Church for 51 years, have three children — Gary, Mike and Kathy — eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.