Romney met Ann Lois Davies (April 16, 1949) while both were still in elementary school. On their first meeting, Romney threw stones at his future wife, remarking, “What do Cub Scouts do when they see a little girl on a horse? We picked up stones and threw them.”
Their relationship did not progress until her sophomore year, when an 18-year old Mitt saw her at a friend's party. Stunned by the beautiful 16-year old, Mitt offered to drive her home that night, oblivious to the fact that she came with a date for the night. They went on their first date on March 1, 1965, watching Julie Andrews’ The Sound of Music, and young Mitt was very much in love then.
“Clearly, she was beautiful then. But there was something else that happened very quickly … I didn’t want to be anywhere else but with Ann. I wanted to be with her all the time and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else besides being with her.”
Romney proposed to Ann during the school prom the same year, and she accepted. Mitt left for France not long after to do missionary work in France on behalf of the LDS Church, and their relationship was limited to two brief visits in the next year, and the occasional phone calls. Ann enrolled in the Brigham Young University (BYU) the following year, and she managed to engineer a transfer to the University of Grenoble in France for a single semester in her freshman year, allowing the young couple some desperately needed time together.
However, their fairy tale romance suffered a hiccup. The prolonged time apart and lack of communication frustrated Ann. The 18-year old beauty was heavily courted by the boys in BYU, and matters were not helped when Mitt’s phone calls and letters suddenly dried up during the summer of 1968. Fearing the worst, Ann dropped her guard down and accepted the persistent wooing of Kim Cameron, BYU’s student body vice president and star of the men’s basketball team. She wrote to Mitt, and indicating that perhaps they should be seeing other people. Little did she know that Mitt was recovering from a horrific car accident in Bordeaux, which claimed the life of one of his fellow missionary.
Mitt returned home in December 1968, and admitted, “I didn't know how we would feel.” But any misgivings he may have had disappeared when he saw Ann waiting with members of his family in the airport. Mitt wasted no time and went straight for the jugular. Seated next to Ann in the back of his sister’s car on their way home, Mitt asked, “You want to get married?”
“Yeah,” answered Ann. They were wedded four months later on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in the Davies residence. 42 years on, and the couple is still going strong. Their marriage has been blessed with five sons, and 16 grandchildren.
Ann, who is a national-level equestrian, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November 1998. Today, her current condition is stable.She attributes the remission to a combination of “reflexology, accupressure, accupuncture, deep-breathing exercises, yoga” and horse riding.