Ed and Laurie Serge reflect on a lifetime of love and commitment since their honeymoon in Paso Robles

PASO ROBLES — On July 10, 1954, Ed and Laurie Serge celebrated the first night of their honeymoon at the Stables Inn on Spring Street. Now, after making a home with their family here, the couple is celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Ed, 95, and Laurie, 90, were set up on a blind date by coworkers and were married in Santa Barbara six months later. 

“We have had a wonderful life with our beautiful children,” Ed told Paso Robles Press. 

Ed, born in San Francisco, and Laurie, born in Canada, were both raised in the Santa Barbara area for most of their childhood. Toward the end of World War II and at the age of 16, Ed decided he wanted to enlist in the Navy. With his father’s help, Ed was able to lie on his birth certificate and by 1945 he was a Navy man and on a ship.


“I kinda grew up with all the war news in those days [with] radio and newspaper, and I just wanted to get in the thing before it ended,” said Ed of why he was so intent on joining the war effort. 

During the last part of the war, Ed was assigned to the destroyer USS Marsh. He ended up serving in Saipan, Guam, and the Island of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. Ed explains the USS Marsh was known as the “Spark Plug” of the Pacific because they set up electrical current to the islands where Quonset huts and airstrips were being built for the military. 

“I’m glad I did [it],” says Ed, looking back on his time in the Navy. “Life has been full of experiences, and in with older men and some of them had been through some bad times. It was a very interesting part of my life.”

Following the war, Ed began working for GTE (now known as Verizon). Little did he know that Laurie was also working for the company and coworkers thought they would be a great match. 

Laurie puts it simply: “One day he came in the front office and I saw him and then somebody set up a date with him and me, and six months later we got married.”

The two got along immediately, noticing similar ways they were brought up and the natural flow of it all. That first night they met took them for a walk along the breakwater in Santa Barbara.

Ed adds, “She was an attractive, really cute gal. And what we used to call it, real tomato. You know?”

The two had an intimate wedding attended by friends, family, and coworkers who set the two up. They had the wedding early in the day and planned to head off for their honeymoon that night. They thought they would be able to make it to San Francisco before their final destination at the Russian River. 

In those days, Spring Street was Highway 101 and in July, the couple recall how hot it was that night. They decided to stop for the night in Paso Robles — not knowing that one day they would call the town home. 

Following the honeymoon, Ed and Laurie settled back down in the Santa Barbara area where Ed worked as a telephone repairman and Laurie continued to work for the company until she became pregnant with her first of what would be four children. 

Ed had a side hobby of collecting and repairing clocks and Laurie became a preschool teacher, helping in the clock shop on the side. The two eventually made a move to Santa Ynez where they finished raising their children and Ed opened a little clock shop in Solvang.

When Ed retired from the telephone company in 1984, they were ready for a change and decided to make a move to Morro Bay. But after about five years, they decided Morro Bay wasn’t for them. 

Ed explains, “When it’s a nice day, it’s a nice day. But when it’s not a nice day, it’s not a nice day.”

One of their daughters was teaching in Atascadero so they thought they would try that, which ended up being a wonderful home for them for about 20 years. Eventually, Ed and Laurie were ready to downsize. Luckily, they already had the Paso Robles home on the west side of town that originally was renovated for profit. But the two decided why not live there instead and so they have been there ever since. 

“Paso Robles is really a nice town,” says Ed. 

At their home in Paso Robles, Ed and Laurie love to spend time in their little backyard garden, or  Ed will tinker in his shop. 

Throughout the years, Ed’s love of clocks turned into a love for antiques. “When you hold an antique, you’re holding history,” he said.

You can even purchase some of his collection from his stall at the Relics Antique Mall on Spring Street. When their daughter Jeanne Serge was teaching at Flamson Middle School and Almond Acres Charter School, they would bring in various antiques that represented every tool you can find in your phone. 

When asked for some advice on how to have a prosperous marriage like their own, both were ready with something to say. 

“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we never carry a grudge,” Laurie said. “And when we would go to bed, we drop it and then the next day we start fresh. And so that’s how we’ve got 70 years [behind us].”

Ed’s take is, “I married her and gave my oath to to her, and I was raised where a handshake was a commitment. So is a marriage.”

And their daughter Jeanne told us her perspective: “As their daughter, what I always saw is they always were a team. Always. They would go to auctions together and buy the antiques and he’d fix them and she’d work in the shop. And so they always have this common, you know, partnership … that’s been really nice to see.”

Ed and Laurie have created a family they are proud of and a bond between each other that has truly met the test of time. Happy 70-year anniversary, Ed and Laurie Serge.

Featured Image: Ed and Laurie Serge are shown at their home in Paso Robles. They celebrate 70 years of marriage on July 10. Photo by Camille DeVaul/PRP