A friendship that lasted 73 years evolved into marriage for Louise Clark and Peter Smith.
The pair, both to be 89-years-old in August, married at the end of April, but just celebrated their marriage at St. James the Less Episcopal Church June 29.
Their story opens in 1946, when Louise’s family moved from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Scarsdale.
Smith, who was an Edgemont resident, matriculated into Scarsdale High School for his junior and senior year along with the rest of the Edgemont students that age because Edgemont High School didn’t include both junior and senior year at the time.
At Scarsdale High School, Louise, Smith and Philip Clark, Louise’s future husband, were classmates, and Smith and Clark were friends.
“[Philip] and my husband were friends farther back than I was friends with them,” Louise said. “They went to Sunday school together at St. James the Less.”
All three of them also went to Sunday school together, once Louise moved to town, and Louise and Philip began dating their senior year of high school.
After graduating high school, Clark and Smith moved on to study at Yale University and Louise studied at Vassar College, later attending Yale for her graduate studies. They remained in touch, and Louise and Clark married at St. James the Less in 1953.
Smith went on to marry his wife, and the two families kept in touch.
Louise and Philip moved to Edgemont when they were married and hosted Clark and his family when they passed through town.
“Peter visited when he could and he brought his children,” Louise remembered. “He lived all over the country.”
Smith worked as an aerospace and nuclear engineer after graduating from Yale, which brought him to jobs all over the United States, including Boston, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Old Saybrook, Connecticut and South Bend, Indiana.
When he had some downtime, he came back to his roots and his old friends.
In 1964, Louise had her third child, who was named after Peter, also his godfather.
Louise and Philip raised their children through St. James the Less and they attended Edgemont schools. She was a part-time Latin teacher for the Edgemont School District, and later worked as a Latin professor at Manhattan College for eight years. Louise also offered her tutoring services in Latin as well.
She served as the Edgemont historian and is currently working as the interim historian for Greenburgh Town. She wrote a book about the history of St. James the Less, which is entwined with the founders of Scarsdale, and another book on Greenville and Edgemont’s history.
After her work in the community, Louise was honored with the Silver Box Award in 2011. The Silver Box Award has been awarded every year since 1950 to an Edgemont resident for distinguished community service.
In 1999, Philip died, and Peter’s wife died soon thereafter.
Peter and his wife shared a love for travel, which Peter then shared with Louise.
“They built up a lot of points from their credit cards to travel,” Louise said. “His wife died and we started to travel together.”
Louise and Peter went on cruises, visited the Yucatan, saw ruins in Central America, traveled to New Orleans and journeyed to the eastern region of the Mediterranean.
In fact, the couple just got back from a three-week trip from Italy.
Now, they’re getting ready for their next trip.
“We have plans to go to the Holy Land next January,” Louise said.
For now, the two live separately — Peter in Washington and Louise in New Rochelle — but they said they plan to start their lives as newlyweds under one roof by the end of August.