darling senior couple talking

COVID Coupling: Chesapeake Duo Weds

A global pandemic couldn’t keep a couple at The Chesapeake from commemorating their love. On May 13, Leo Walsh and Madalene Hardison got married in the community chapel. Chaplain Sonja Oliver performed the quick ceremony. 

When asked what it was like to plan a wedding during the COVID-19 crisis, Madalene said it was easier than she expected.

“Through the graciousness of the Chesapeake, we were relieved of all the pre-planning; all we had to do was show up,” she said. “Through the use of technology, we were able to share video and pictures with family and friends.”

The newlyweds met in 2011 at Leo’s cousin’s 90th birthday party. Madalene was a guest at the party though she says she doesn’t remember him being there. Leo moved to The Chesapeake in 2014 and not long after he ran into Madalene. When they re-met, she asked him if he was familiar with the Newport News area, his response began their love story. Not knowing the area well, Madalene showed him around the city.

“We’ve been dating ever since,” Leo said.

Leo is 90 years old and his new bride is 83. He remarked that people their age don’t often get married, but after years together they decided to make it official.

“At our age, we have found each other and realize how much in common we have. We would like to continue growing together.”

With the spread of COVID-19 looming, Leo said he received a call from Madalene’s daughter instructing him to, “Go get Mama and bring her to the cottages.” They moved in together just before the lockdown.