Philly couple shares secrets to happy marriage after 75 years

Friday, February 09, 2018 02:41PM
Philly couple shares secrets to happy marriage after 75 years: Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on February 9, 2018.


PHILADELPHIA - Valentine's Day is fast-approaching and if you're in need of some romantic inspiration, meet the Rudnicks, who celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this past November.

Jeannette and Jesse Rudnick are both lifelong Philadelphians but growing up, they were like two ships.

"We went to the same elementary school, junior high, and high school. We lived about four or five blocks apart. Never met each other," said Jeannette.

They both went to Temple University too and in a freshman math class, Cupid's arrow finally struck.

"Sat down next to me and said, 'You're from Overbrook, Overbrook High School, aren't you?' I said 'Yes.' About two weeks later he said to me, 'You're having trouble, if you want me to help you I'll meet you in the library.'," said Jeannette.

They married a year later in 1942, just before Jesse set off for basic training.

"We were underage, and we had to have our parents come to get our marriage license," said Jeannette.

"I think her mother had more to do with it than anything else," added Jesse. "She liked him," Jeannette said with a laugh.

The couple settled in Parkside for 58 years before moving to the Watermark Retirement Community in Logan Square in 2015. They have three children and 6 grandchildren.

"Our interests are the Philadelphia Orchestra, chamber music, and the theatre," said Jeannette.

And share a love of culture - and each other's company.

"Every summer we traveled," said Jesse. "We have visited all 50 states," added Jeannette. "We've been to Asia. We've been to Africa. Jesse taught in Nigeria."

Jesse was a math professor at Temple - the same school where he'd met and tutored his future bride in the subject.

"She said to me, 'You can teach anywhere you want as long as it's in Philadelphia'," he said.

They based their marriage on a simple Yiddish word.

"She told me if I accept her mishegoss, she'll accept my mishegoss," said Jesse.

"Mishegoss is translated closely as peculiarities," said Jeannette.

In other words, I'm not an easy person to get along with, and she tolerated me," said Jesse.

For 75 years and happily counting.

"If I had to live my life over again, I don't think I would change anything," said Jeannette.

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