On June 6, 74 years later, his day was marked by a quiet celebration of love.
Leichtman, 92, and Marilyn Ogden, 88, picked the anniversary of D-Day to get married.
The nuptials were Wednesday at the Snohomish County Courthouse.
“He’s Jewish. I’m Protestant,” she said. “We didn’t need a religious ceremony.” She wore a midi dress embellished with a metallic-dot floral jacket from Macy’s. He got duded up in a suit, with a Normandy lapel pin connoting his service on a Navy destroyer during World War II and the day of the Allied invasion along the coast of France.
The couple has been sharing the same apartment for about four months in the independent living wing at Cascadian Place.
She finally caved, on one condition. “I am going to keep my own name,” she said, “but I can hyphenate it when I need to.”
It’s the third marriage for both, who were widowed twice.
“We take care of each other,” she said.
He has lived at Cascadian Place since 2008. She moved there about two years ago from a retirement home in Burien to be closer to her daughter in Marysville.
She’d been single for 20 years.
“I was used to living by myself,” she said.
His wife died two and a half years ago.
“I was miserable,” he said.
The two hit if off right away. He asked her out to the Elks for dinner. Soon they were an item.
They lived two floors apart. “I was on 5 and he was down on 3, so I had to take the elevator,” she said. “Moving in with him saved money.”
It’s more than that, of course.
“I’m slow to get dressed. I’ve had five hip replacements,” Ogden said. “He takes my walker and stows it in his trunk. He still drives.”
He has a 2001 Buick Century and an unrestricted driver’s license.
He drove her to the courthouse Wednesday, arriving an hour early because he didn’t want to be late.
“We’re interested in the final product,” Leichtman told Snohomish County District Court Judge Tam Bui, referring to a signed marriage license.
“OK, I’ll get you there,” Bui said. “Don’t worry. I have experience.”
Even so, Bui said their union was special and that she might cry. Leichtman offered her his handkerchief.
“This is an historical moment for me,” she said, “and of course it is for you. It’s your day.”
For the vows, Bui told them, “Say what’s in your heart.”
“I love you very much,” the groom said.
“He is very good to me,” said the bride.
They each repeated the “love, honor and cherish until death do us part” promise, sealed with a kiss.
Then Bui gave them the final product.
At the ceremony was Ogden’s daughter and matron of honor, Patti Fredley, her granddaughter, Jennifer Smith, and home health aides, Myra Stewart and William Brown, who was the best man and ringbearer.
The wedding party went to dinner at the 112th Street Diner on Evergreen Way to celebrate. The couple go out to eat every Saturday night, and it’s one of their favorite places.
A reception was held Thursday at Cascadian Place.
Leichtman served three years in the Navy and was a radioman second class. On D-Day he was at Utah Beach in the ship’s radio room. “I was 18 years old and a cocky kid,” he said. “After Normandy I went to the supply officer and told him I didn’t join the Navy to fight the war from inside a radio room. For combat I was put on a 20 millimeter cannon and I was an ammunition loader. And I almost got killed.”
He traveled the world and worked for the federal government, retiring as a contract administrator.
She lived in Seattle most of her life. She’s a huge Mariners fan. He’s a computer geek. When she watches the ballgame on TV, he works on his blog. He also sends texts.
The newlyweds aren’t shooting for a golden anniversary.