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Two Longstanding Acton Couples Share Tips on Love, Life, and Staying Together for the Long Haul

Community, Communication and Companionship

Lynda and John Brasz share almost everything

Lynda and John Brasz celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last summer. Their union might be considered the product of a May-September romance—John is 14 years older than Lynda. “All my friends in High School said it wouldn't last. My dad didn't want us to be together so we had to meet in secret. But after five kids, ten foster kids and five grand kids—he eventually came around,” said Lynda

“She was out-going and liked to laugh a lot” added John. “And she was a good kisser. The fact that her dad didn't like me made me stubborn. I won't say that we didn't have problems; we had problems but we just worked them out. After 50 years, you don't let little things bother you.”

“I think you're drawn to certain kinds of people. We both have like-minded personalities and that hasn't changed over the years. We're still highly-spirited and we share everything,” added Lynda. “Well almost everything. I spent too many Saturday nights watching hockey games on television. Now, I do my own thing. I have my tablet and friends.”

Photo: Lynda and John Brasz

The couple fell in love with Acton and moved here in 2013 after visiting visiting the Leathertown Festival. “It was the kind of close-knit community we were looking for. I immediately got on the phone and found a rental property downtown that fall,” said Lynda. “That was the year of the ice storm. We had Christmas without power but the kids came anyway.”

The Braszes admit to being more socially active since moving to Acton. “We've joined the BIA and became involved with the Food For Life charity. There is always something going on in Acton. We've actually grown more since moving here. We have good neighbours, a good community and loving friends. Our door is always open and everyone is welcome. We even exchange gifts with our neighbours at Christmas.”

Erika Green and Sue Gonzalez: proof that opposites attract

Erika and Sue met by happenstance 15 years ago and have been married for the last 13. “We're both opposites. We are opposite personalities that have a lot in common, if that makes any sense,” says Sue.

“Sue is Puerto-Rican Spanish from the Bronx, New York, and I'm this little white kid born and raised in Georgetown, Ontario,”added Erika.

“What attracted me to Erika was her smile, beautiful eyes and personality,” said Sue.

“For me it was Sue's bluntness and honesty, and her New York-style attitude,” according to Erika. “We found each other and somehow that just grew. Take, for instance, our love of tattoos. We're both covered in tattoos. And Hallowe'en is our favourite holiday and we both tend to go a little crazy then.”

For the first two years of their relationship, the couple spent a lot of time exchanging visits between New York and Canada. After they were married, Erika and Sue decided to make Canada their home, and have lived in Acton the last 10 years. “Being a same-sex couple, we stopped going to the States when Trump got elected and decided to boycott it for awhile, and then Covid hit,” said Sue.

“Sue is my second marriage and I'm her first,” said Erika. “We have a son and daughter that are adults and a grandson. It's nice that Sue is surrounded by family because her family is so far away in the States.”

Unfortunately, same-sex couples can face harassment or discrimination in public. As Erika explains: “Anywhere you go, you see opposite-sex couples holding hands, but when a same sex-couple does that, no matter if you're in New York, Toronto or Georgetown, you get yelled at and honked at.”

“But not in Acton,” Sue interjected. “We've never faced any discrimination here. We both live and work here. We love Acton, the community and supportive people we have around us.”

“I introduced Sue to my love of motorcycles and together we started women's motorcycle organization: TWISTED. That stands for 'Tenacious Women Inspiring Strength Through Empowerment and Diversity'. We do a lot of local charity events, raising money for different local things, random acts of kindness, food share, etc.”

For Valentine's Day, Sue and Erika are planning on sharing a lobster dinner and a bottle of wine. They both cite honesty and communications as the cornerstones for building a strong, lasting relationship. “If one of us needs some space you give it to them, you don't just crowd them,” said Sue. “And try really hard not to go to bed mad.”

Photo: Sue Gonzalez and Erika Green


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