Afier years of milestones, a very happy wedding.
Special to the Jewish News
eanette Magner and Dr.
Benjamin Reder of
Southfield recently celebrat-
ed their first wedding
anniversary. That alone would not
be so unique, except that the couple
had known each other more than 50
years before finally tying the knot.
Both spent the majority of their
adult lives married to other people.
In fact, Dr. Reder had known
Magner's husband since they were
children, and Magner's mother-in-
law and Dr. Reder's mother were
also close friends. The two couples
would frequently go out together.
Dr. Reder was a physician in fami-
ly practice for 49 years, and Magner
worked with her husband in their
advertising specialties business for 35
years. Magner, now 78, lost her hus-
band 12 years ago, and Dr. Reder's
wife passed away 10 years ago.
After a while, the two "sort of
drifted together," explains Magner.
"At my age, you don't look for stars
in the sky — that's for the young,"
she says. Instead, each found in the
other a reliable companion.
They joined a singles group
through Temple Israel, and started to
travel together. Their families were
more than encouraging from the
"More than five years ago, my
daughter-in-law started in on me
that I should marry Jeanette," laughs
Dr. Reder, 86. But at the time, nei-
ther was ready for another serious
commitment. "He wanted to get to
know me better," jokes Magner.
But the two became inseparable.
They play bridge, work out at the
Jewish Community Center, and go
to the opera, symphony and theater.
"But we only keep busy part-time,"
says Magner. "You can get bored
with doing too many things."
Through the years, their love for
one another continued to grow. The
two have taken cruises to Italy,
Greece, China, South America and
Alaska. They typically take two large
trips a year.
And through all this, their families
were supportive and encouraging.
But it took a while before they were
ready to get married.
"We did what we told the kids not
to do," says Dr. Reder, "and we lis-
tened the way they listened to us."
Fifteen months ago, Dr. Reder
popped the question, but it wasn't
exactly the question Magner would
have expected. Instead, he asked her
if she wanted to sign a pre-nuptial
agreement. "That's how I knew he
was asking me to marry him," says
In just two short months, a garden
wedding was planned in the back-
yard of one of their close friends,
and was officiated by Magner's niece,
Rabbi Stacie Fine Bahle of Traverse
City. It was a small wedding of 50
people, including the five children
and 10 grandchildren the couple
have between them.
Both feel very fortunate to
have found each other, and also
fortunate that both families
have been excited for them
throughout. "They were all for
us getting married long before
we decided," explains Dr.
Reder. "Things like this don't
happen very often," says his
Since they travel so frequently,
neither felt they needed a honey-
moon. "I'm trying to get her a
job to keep busy," says Dr.
Reder. But Magner responds,
"The day he goes back to seeing
patients is the day I'll go back to
work." Instead, they have been
doing a lot of relaxing, and
enjoying each other's compa-
They married on July 1 because
Dr. Reder's birthday is July 2. He
explains, "It was much easier for me
to remember. Besides," he laughs, "I
wanted to get an anniversary present
one day, then a birthday present the
When pressed for a reason they
didn't marry sooner, his bride
explains: "We just weren't
Jeanette Magner and