Love Deepens

(Photos provided)
(Photos provided)

Marilyn & Alan  Riffkin
First Date: December 1962  for ice skating

Wedding Date: July 3, 1966

Venue: Richfield Caterers,  Verona, N.J.

Residence: Silver Spring, Md.

Favorite Activity: Dining out

A glance at a JCC dance in  December 1962 was all it took.

Marilyn Friedman, a high school senior, spied Alan Riffkin, a student at Rutgers University. After talking, they went ice skating on a nearby pond. He held her hand.

“He was very good looking, had a great build. I just liked him,” said Marilyn, 70. “I knew from the moment we met. He was the one.”

The pair had much to talk about, especially their upbringing since they came from different parts of Highland Park, N.J.

“She was a nice person and very attractive,” said Alan, 72. “She’s still very attractive.”

Marilyn enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, earning an associate’s degree in children’s clothing design. Alan left Rutgers, worked for a few years and ultimately earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics.

(Photos provided)
(Photos provided)

Alan drove to New York to take Marilyn for dinner and a show. Other weekends, she came home to see him.

One day in June 1965, Marilyn pulled Alan off the tennis court. They hopped in the backseat of her father’s car; her parents sat up front. Alan, who hadn’t even changed his clothes, asked her father for her hand in marriage.

They married July 3, 1966 at Richfield Caterers in Verona, N.J. About 250 guests witnessed the ceremony by Rabbi Philip Raymond, the principal of the yeshiva that Marilyn attended.

Marilyn designed her own wedding gown, an A-line made of peau de soie, a heavy silk.

Friends and family enjoyed the tremendous affair.

In 1967, Alan joined the Army reserves and went for basic training. After about a month, Marilyn moved to Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

In 1969, they moved to Greenbelt, Md. Alan got a job in Washington as an agricultural economist, a position he held for 50 years before retiring in 2014. They settled in Silver Spring in 1972 in the house they still own. The fourth bedroom, of course, was Marilyn’s sewing room for her freelance sewing business. She also spent 17 years as youth director for three different synagogues.

Their children, Michael and Andrew, joined them in 1970 and 1974. Life proved hectic with two young boys.

Throughout the years, they have made sure to keep their Saturday night date-night commitment to each other. They shared the cooking duties, as both enjoyed it.

Today, they serve as the sisterhood caterer for Kiddushes and b’nai mitzvah at Oseh Shalom in Laurel.

Along with their date night, they take senior fitness classes together twice a week and enjoy spending time with their four grandchildren.

Neither can believe they  recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an elegant dinner at La Ferme in Chevy Chase, Md. “Our love has grown,” said Marilyn. “Over the years as things happen, the love deepens.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings  Mills-based freelance writer. For  “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or  email

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