A Terp Love Lives On

When Ed Charron, a ’64 political science (GVPT) alum, first laid eyes on his now wife Joyce, he was about to take Joyce’s roommate, Sarah, on a date.

“When Ed picked Sarah up I was in my American sweatshirt and my hair was in curlers!” Joyce, who was working at the Library of Congress and taking classes at American University at the time, recalled.

On June 16, 1956 the Charrons were married in the University of Maryland Chapel.

After their wedding, the newlyweds honeymooned by driving to Key West, where they hopped on a boat and toured Cuba. Ed and Joyce revisited Cuba to celebrate their 60th anniversary last year, and while there, Joyce made sure to sport her Maryland flag scarf- proving their enduring love for the University of Maryland.

“We have a Maryland flag banner in our home, and we keep our crackers and chips in the trough from the Dairy,” Joyce said. “We always go to the basketball games when they are down here!”

The Charron’s have made alumni donations to UMD every year and are active members of a roughly 200-person Jacksonville alumnae group that meets bimonthly at a local bar by the beach.

“Over the last eight or ten years, I’ve been [to UMD] for a couple of the alumni weekends and it always seems to rain on game day,” Ed noted. “We always get the very best pizza in the world, Ledos.”

Ed grew up in Riverdale, MD with his mother, a “strict” woman who worked for various congressmen and senators.

“There used to be a beer hall right on Route 1, and my mother would have certainly disapproved of how much I drank with friends at one of the fraternity houses one day,” Ed reminisced with a laugh. “I actually ran home because I knew that if I ran to Riverdale, by the time I’d get home I’d be sober!”

Joyce, on the other hand, grew up in Vermont and moved to the District in search of a job.

“The day after I graduated high school my mother and I got on a train so I could interview for a job that my cousin had told me about,” Joyce explained. “The job wasn’t available, but I had heard about the Library of Congress and was lucky enough to get an interview and start working there.”

Upon returning from their honeymoon, the Charrons settled into Joyce’s apartment across the street from the Library of Congress, where Joyce worked during the day and Ed worked in the evenings at the House of Representatives.

The couple had their first child, Michael, at Georgetown Hospital, then moved to Richmond, VA where they had their second son, Kenneth. Ed got a job working for Emory Insurance and was working towards his master’s degree from the University of Atlanta, when the pair had a daughter, Jennifer.

“Going to law school is a great benefit even if you don’t practice,” Ed advised. “Every move you make in public or private has a legal implication.”

In Atlanta, Ed then began working for a local railroad company that was later acquired by CSX. CSX moved Ed and his little family to Jacksonville, FL, where their fourth and final child, Matthew, was born. Ed worked as a staff attorney and retired as Senior Counsel in 1990. He and Joyce have stayed in Jacksonville ever since.

The Charrons have remained active in their community, with Ed serving on the boards of Jacksonville Libraries and the local credit union and Joyce heavily involving herself in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army.

“If young people pursue what I would call their dream, it will bear fruit,” Ed explained. “Though if I were to suggest a quality that will endure and lead to a happier life, loyalty is a simple concept that matters more than a lot of other attributes of living because it affects everything.”

“Loyalty doesn’t just apply to your family or your country, it also applies to your school,” Ed concluded.
 

Ed and Joyce Charron