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1950 double wedding yields gold

Two sisters from Chicago who married the same day celebrate golden anniversaries together in Florida.


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 1, 2000

It was 1950, and Rita Magruder and her sister, Eleanor, had just gotten engaged. That's when their mother stepped in.

"My mother only had the two daughters," said Rita, "and she thought since we were engaged so close together she would like to present us with a nice double wedding, and she went all out."

The ceremony was performed on July 1 at St. Viators Church in Chicago. Rita, who was 20 years old, married Garland Key, 22, and Eleanor, then 19, married Edward Eulert, 20.

"We were given away by our stepfather, Harold Anderson; he had a daughter on each arm as he gave us away," Rita said last week.

They celebrated previous anniversaries together whenever possible and for their golden anniversary took a cruise to Alaska. That will be followed today 7/1 with a dinner party at Arigato Japanese Steakhouse in Clearwater.

The Eulerts' son Randall from Carol Stream, Ill., and their daughter Marybeth Johnson and her husband Darren and grandchildren Michael and Alycia Savegnago from Winfield, Ill., and a granddaughter Margaret Johnson from Spring Hill were to attend. Five of the Eulerts grandchildren could not come. The Keys' son Kenneth from Tampa and Garland Key's sister Lynda MacIntosh and her husband from West Palm Beach were also to attend.

Garland Key, a salesman, said the two couples lived on opposite sides of Chicago before they moved to Florida but got together for family outings and sometimes the men played golf. He and Rita were the first to come to Florida in 1975, at the urging of some friends.

He retired from Daly Aluminum in 1995.

"Marriage is a lot like the stock market," Key said. "It has its ups and downs, but always seems to end on an up note. You must have patience and work things out. There has to be a lot of give and take."

He and Rita enjoy playing cards and are members of the Pinochle Club at Beacon Square Civic Association where he is a member of the Men's Club. They are members of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. The Keys are also the parents of the late Gary Key. Eleanor Eulert said the double wedding ceremony was different and very nice. "It was very special to us." she commented. Over the years, she said, they have enjoyed wedding anniversaries with her sister and brother-in-law, especially the last 11 years since they have all been in Florida. Before retiring, Eulert was in research with Allstate Insurance in Illinois. He enjoys playing golf and she plays bridge. They like to travel and are active in the Beacon Woods East Civic Association. She attends St. Michael's Catholic Church in Bayonet Point.

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