When Susan was young her older brothers were very protective of her, and kept her very close. That plan backfired when she started dating a friend of theirs, Jerry Leigan.
“My brothers thought I would be safer with them,” laughed Susan. “He was in the same crowd, so that’s how we met.”
“For some reason they thought I was OK,” said Jerry. “I passed the test.”
In fact, Susan’s family approved so completely that during the brief stints when the couple broke up (as young couples often do), her curfew mysteriously got earlier.
Jerry was graduated, with Susan still in high school, when they started dating. By 1987, one year after she left school, the couple purchased their first house just outside of town at 8 mile.
A Golden couple through and through, the soon-to-be Leigans planned their wedding at the local Anglican Church, and then had the reception upstairs at the Golden Arena.
After the births of their two children, Eddie and Rayanne, they made a move closer to family and bought a place in Nicholson right next to the house where Susan’s parents live.
“We wanted to be close to family,” said Susan.
Now, more than 30 years into their relationship, that commitment to family has been evident in their lives the whole way through.
Not only do they own and operate multiple family businesses together, but they also mark special occasions, often shared just between couples, with the whole family.
“For our anniversary we usually just go out for a family dinner,” said Susan.
“And for the last weekend of July (which is around their anniversary) every year the whole family goes to Camrose for the music festival. We’ve been doing that forever,” added Jerry.
They even carried on their honeymoon tradition with the kids.
The Leigans went to Disneyland for the first time together on their honeymoon, joined by Jerry’s best man and his wife, and since then have gone 10 times with the whole family.
“Dates like Valentine’s Day and anniversaries aren’t what’s really important to us. What’s important is family,” said Susan.
“Doing things, not just with our little family, but with our large extended family as well. That’s what is important to us.”