The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 64
for each other. Trish, who ran for City Council recently
(barely missing the cut), is hyper-busy with clubs, civic
involvement, work and politics and is gone a lot. "We
were inseparable for a long time," says Bert, who is almost always invited to accompany his wife ("I get an
agenda"). He pauses. "We used to meet for lunch," he
says. "I prefer that he go with me," she says, "but I'll go
alone if he doesn't."
They are independent (Bert's also busy as a master
gardener, volunteer at Round Hill School, president of
his Neighborhood Watch and has a new three-wheel
motorcycle) and, says Bert, "Not being together is not
an option." Trish says emphatically, "We know we want
to be together and we accommodate that."
DAVID AND LEAH WILEY
met more than a quarter century ago when he spotted "a beautiful soprano in the front row"
of a chamber choir at Indiana University, where they
were students. She was working on a degree in theater
drama and Italian with the goal of becoming a singer/
actress and he was polishing advanced degrees in music.
They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Today, David has been music director and conduc64 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
tor of the Roanoke Symphony for 20 years and Leah is
involved in the community, has a business-Muevela
Fitness & Dance-coaches young singers, and teaches
group exercise at the YMCA. They have two children,
Misha and Mara, who are music students, of course.
David says that early in their relationship, he told a
trusted teacher he wanted to marry Leah. The teacher
asked, "Do you like her?" "I love her," he replied. "But
do you like her?" The answer was "yes, she's my best
friend" and that has been the constant response since.
The teacher approved.
Leah has found her own niche. "When we first got
[to Roanoke], I was the music director's wife. Now I'm
comfortable with the idea of who I am." One of those
roles is mother, which she obviously enjoys.
"When we decided to get married, we knew there
would be changes over the years," says David. "Every five
years, we re-commit. Marriage is like a rose vine growing
upward, crossing and growing apart occasionally. When
we feel apart, we bring it back in."
Both value family and extended family. In fact, says
Leah, early in their relationship, it was David's family
as much as it was him that sold her on the relationship.
"I knew I could marry him because of the way his parents" raised him. I