Ken and Barbara Rudzewick: A Maspeth love story

By Jessica Meditz

[email protected]

Ken and Barbara Rudzewick tied the knot on Oct. 6, 1962 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

“It’s not just mortgages and money, it’s romance as well,” Kenneth Rudzewick said with a smile as he reminisced on the place where he met his soulmate, Barbara.

The Rudzewicks, known lovingly by many in the community as Maspeth’s power couple, or Mr. and Mrs. Maspeth, properly met in 1958 while working at Maspeth Federal Savings Bank.

Ken, 85, met then-Barbara Cheperak, 82, at the bank when he was 20 and she was 17. Because they’re both Maspeth natives and had mutual friends, they knew of each other, but never made that personal connection.

Ken feels it was fate that brought him to his wife.

“I was playing football at the time, the team was having a dance and I needed a date. I wasn’t going to meet anybody at the dance, and I didn’t have a steady girlfriend,” he explained. “But then I said to myself, ‘There’s a cute girl that works at the bank and she lives two blocks away,’ and I asked Barbara to join me. She did, and the rest is history.”

Ken worked at Maspeth Federal during its humble beginnings when it only had 15 employees, and the company has since grown to 144. The Rudzewick family legacy began at the bank in 1999, when Ken was elected president and CEO.

Barbara attended nursing school and worked as a nurse for 25 years at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens located in Flushing, which was known as Booth Memorial Hospital at the time.

The dynamic duo went on to tie the knot on Oct. 6, 1962 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where Ken attended grammar school and where they sent their children.

Photographs from the day are enough to evoke a nostalgic feeling – even for those who did not live through the era – as seen through the glamorous mod bridal cap Barbara sported.

“Our reception was at Antun’s in Queens Village, which is still there,” Barbara said. “I still have my wedding gown; I had it preserved.”

They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past October with their family and friends at West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills.

Ken and Barbara had four children: Thomas, Jill (who passed away in 2012 due to breast cancer), Glenn and Roger.

They have nine grandchildren: Nicholas, 27; Kristian, 22; Emily, 20; Katie, 17; Meghan, 16; James, 14; Matthew, 13; Brendan, 12; and Ryan, 8.

The couple has been on numerous adventures together, traveling as far as Venice, Italy, as well as nearby destinations including Fire Island on Long Island.

The Rudzewicks in Venice, Italy.

Referring to the latter, Barbara said jokingly, “He nearly got me killed that day…we picked up rowboats and Ken had a cooler. The waves were extremely treacherous…I’ll never forget. But it was fun, we made it and we did it together.”

Many of their fondest memories and achievements happened right here in their hometown of Maspeth.

The Rudzewicks can be spotted at most community events, from street co-namings to Maspeth Federal’s annual summer concerts.

In fact, Ken came up with the idea to hold the summer concerts in the bank’s parking lot over 50 years ago, and casually informed his wife about it before a morning stroll.

“I told him, ‘Go ahead, go,’” Barbara said. “I thought he was crazy.”

The tradition’s been alive for 55 years. Another quintessential Maspeth event that the Rudzewicks are involved in is the annual Memorial Day Parade down Grand Avenue, an annual tradition since 1975.

Ken and Barbara also feel it’s important to fulfill their civic responsibilities through groups such as the St. Stanislaus Kostka Educational Endowment Committee, the Maspeth Kiwanis and the Kowalinski Post.

At last year’s 11th annual Hall of Fame Dinner Dance at St. Stan’s, the couple was completely surprised when the announcement was made that the school gym would be rededicated “Rudzewick Hall.”

The gym of St. Stan’s was renamed “Rudzewick Hall” in their honor.

“That was so special. I was absolutely overwhelmed, but so honored,” Barbara said.

“And they spelled our name right,” Ken added with a chuckle.

The Endowment Committee has raised over $380,000 for the school, going toward a STEM lab, scholarships, computers, Smart Boards, upgrades to the school’s electrical service, as well as school summer programs, and the Rudzewicks are proud to play a role in that.

Ken and Barbara attribute their success as a family and couple to the community of Maspeth – being they’ve lived here their entire lives.

They feel the tight-knit neighborhood has allowed them to dedicate themselves to their children and spend quality time with friends and family.

As for their secret to a healthy and happy 60-year marriage, Ken said that luck certainly is a factor, but shared some words of wisdom.

“Never give up on your mate, no matter what happens. It works, if you can do it. It’s not easy – there’s lots of bumps in the road – handle them as they come along,” he said. “And don’t take yourself too seriously…I think a lot of people do. That ruins a relationship. If you lose your sense of humor, it’s all over; that’s why God gave it to us. He knew we’d have to laugh through these things.”

They will continue to laugh together for the rest of their lives – no matter how old the “Ken and Barbie” jokes may get.

Ken and Barbara Rudzewick: A Maspeth love story

By Jessica Meditz

[email protected]

Ken and Barbara Rudzewick tied the knot on Oct. 6, 1962 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

“It’s not just mortgages and money, it’s romance as well,” Kenneth Rudzewick said with a smile as he reminisced on the place where he met his soulmate, Barbara.

The Rudzewicks, known lovingly by many in the community as Maspeth’s power couple, or Mr. and Mrs. Maspeth, properly met in 1958 while working at Maspeth Federal Savings Bank.

Ken, 85, met then-Barbara Cheperak, 82, at the bank when he was 20 and she was 17. Because they’re both Maspeth natives and had mutual friends, they knew of each other, but never made that personal connection.

Ken feels it was fate that brought him to his wife.

“I was playing football at the time, the team was having a dance and I needed a date. I wasn’t going to meet anybody at the dance, and I didn’t have a steady girlfriend,” he explained. “But then I said to myself, ‘There’s a cute girl that works at the bank and she lives two blocks away,’ and I asked Barbara to join me. She did, and the rest is history.”

Ken worked at Maspeth Federal during its humble beginnings when it only had 15 employees, and the company has since grown to 144. The Rudzewick family legacy began at the bank in 1999, when Ken was elected president and CEO.

Barbara attended nursing school and worked as a nurse for 25 years at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens located in Flushing, which was known as Booth Memorial Hospital at the time.

The dynamic duo went on to tie the knot on Oct. 6, 1962 at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where Ken attended grammar school and where they sent their children.

Photographs from the day are enough to evoke a nostalgic feeling – even for those who did not live through the era – as seen through the glamorous mod bridal cap Barbara sported.

“Our reception was at Antun’s in Queens Village, which is still there,” Barbara said. “I still have my wedding gown; I had it preserved.”

They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past October with their family and friends at West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills.

Ken and Barbara had four children: Thomas, Jill (who passed away in 2012 due to breast cancer), Glenn and Roger.

They have nine grandchildren: Nicholas, 27; Kristian, 22; Emily, 20; Katie, 17; Meghan, 16; James, 14; Matthew, 13; Brendan, 12; and Ryan, 8.

The couple has been on numerous adventures together, traveling as far as Venice, Italy, as well as nearby destinations including Fire Island on Long Island.

The Rudzewicks in Venice, Italy.

Referring to the latter, Barbara said jokingly, “He nearly got me killed that day…we picked up rowboats and Ken had a cooler. The waves were extremely treacherous…I’ll never forget. But it was fun, we made it and we did it together.”

Many of their fondest memories and achievements happened right here in their hometown of Maspeth.

The Rudzewicks can be spotted at most community events, from street co-namings to Maspeth Federal’s annual summer concerts.

In fact, Ken came up with the idea to hold the summer concerts in the bank’s parking lot over 50 years ago, and casually informed his wife about it before a morning stroll.

“I told him, ‘Go ahead, go,’” Barbara said. “I thought he was crazy.”

The tradition’s been alive for 55 years. Another quintessential Maspeth event that the Rudzewicks are involved in is the annual Memorial Day Parade down Grand Avenue, an annual tradition since 1975.

Ken and Barbara also feel it’s important to fulfill their civic responsibilities through groups such as the St. Stanislaus Kostka Educational Endowment Committee, the Maspeth Kiwanis and the Kowalinski Post.

At last year’s 11th annual Hall of Fame Dinner Dance at St. Stan’s, the couple was completely surprised when the announcement was made that the school gym would be rededicated “Rudzewick Hall.”

The gym of St. Stan’s was renamed “Rudzewick Hall” in their honor.

“That was so special. I was absolutely overwhelmed, but so honored,” Barbara said.

“And they spelled our name right,” Ken added with a chuckle.

The Endowment Committee has raised over $380,000 for the school, going toward a STEM lab, scholarships, computers, Smart Boards, upgrades to the school’s electrical service, as well as school summer programs, and the Rudzewicks are proud to play a role in that.

Ken and Barbara attribute their success as a family and couple to the community of Maspeth – being they’ve lived here their entire lives.

They feel the tight-knit neighborhood has allowed them to dedicate themselves to their children and spend quality time with friends and family.

As for their secret to a healthy and happy 60-year marriage, Ken said that luck certainly is a factor, but shared some words of wisdom.

“Never give up on your mate, no matter what happens. It works, if you can do it. It’s not easy – there’s lots of bumps in the road – handle them as they come along,” he said. “And don’t take yourself too seriously…I think a lot of people do. That ruins a relationship. If you lose your sense of humor, it’s all over; that’s why God gave it to us. He knew we’d have to laugh through these things.”

They will continue to laugh together for the rest of their lives – no matter how old the “Ken and Barbie” jokes may get.

Maspeth Federal Savings teaches financial literacy to Molloy High School students

By Jessica Meditz

[email protected]

Toya Brown gives Molloy High School students a seminar on credit and debt.

Last Thursday, Maspeth Federal Savings Bank (MFS) ventured out into the community to educate students about financial literacy.

Employees of the bank visited Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood as part of their commitment to community involvement and sharing valuable information with youth.

Toya Brown, assistant bank officer and executive assistant to David Daraio, senior vice president and COO, and Michael Corteo, senior credit analyst, gave a slideshow presentation to the students, sharing quintessential talking points about all things savings, budgeting and credit.

Michael Corteo’s portion of the seminar focused on savings and budgeting.

“Maspeth Federal has a very long history of giving back to the community, and one of the things that we recently started in the last couple of years was financial literacy amongst not just high schools, but colleges,” said Akshay Mehandru, vice president and credit manager at MFS. “Our goal for starting this was to educate the younger generation, providing financial literacy to them, that they may not have access to or have conversations about with their peers.”

Although he wasn’t at the most recent presentation, Mehandru has much experience giving these lessons to students.

He said that because they’re usually so busy pursuing other milestones in their lives, students don’t always have the opportunity or time to have these important conversations.

“I genuinely love talking about loans, credit and making smart financial decisions young because I’ve been there. When I was back in high school, I wanted to have something like that – I should have had something like that – but it was never brought up,” he said.

He feels it’s essential to educate young people about things such as how to get a credit card, where to save money, how to get a car loan or what loan options they have.

Brown, whose portion of the presentation included the topics of savings and budgeting, emphasized the key five steps to managing a budget – which are evaluating one’s needs versus wants, setting goals, knowing one’s income and expenses, formulating a spending plan and sticking to that plan.

“Our mission is to get young people aware of their finances: the point of having a savings and checking account, and the importance of credit,” she said. “All of this knowledge is out there, but it’s not always put into an easy way for kids these days to understand.”

Half the battle is getting children and teens to listen to this advice in the first place, and Brown is confident that the Molloy students were actively listening and engaged.

“They had a lot of questions, especially when it comes to credit…but also budgeting for college and how to save up for that,” she said.

MFS aspires to continue sharing these life lessons with Queens youth, and encourages any interested school or business to visit their website and request a seminar on financial literacy. 

Maspeth Federal Savings becomes an official bank of St. John’s Athletics

Maspeth Federal Savings (MFS) is now an official bank of St. John’s University Athletics, strengthening its visibility and connection across the St. John’s community with basketball game sponsorships and plans to launch an on-campus ATM and co-branded debit card.

The partnership between these two storied New York institutions began in 2018.

MFS has several initiatives reflecting the challenges and values that define young New Yorkers, including their interest in entrepreneurship and environmental, social and governance (ESG).

According to NASDAQ, 40 percent of Gen Zers make financial decisions driven by companies with purpose.

MFS Gen-Z focused programs include: financial literacy seminars to nurture Gen Z’s high entrepreneurial ambitions—more than 70% of people aged 18–24 plan to start a side hustle—and combat the growing amount of financial misinformation targeting youth across social media; robust summer internships providing opportunity and education; sustainability programs including community Recycling Days and electric vehicle charging stations in MFS parking lots; and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to effect positive change across the MFS community as well as Bank-On certified products to help ensure access to safe and affordable banking for all.

“Many of us at Maspeth Federal Savings are St. John’s alumni, so this initiative is near and dear to our hearts,” said MFS President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Rudzewick. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the next generation as they make plans for tomorrow, be it starting a business, buying a home, planning a trip or pursuing further education.”

Sponsored games include Sunday, Jan. 29 vs. Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.

January’s tipoff marks the 121st meeting of one of the BIG EAST conference’s greatest rivalries between St. John’s and Georgetown.

In their last showdown, the Johnnies topped the Hoyas 90-77 in Washington, D.C.

An additional sponsored game will be held at Carnesseca Arena on February 18th, 2023 against the Creighton Blue Jays.

Launch dates for the debit card and on-campus ATM, located in the Marillac Dining Hall, will be announced in 2023.

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Maspeth Federal Savings and further the connection with our campus and fanbase,” added Kevin Waters, St. John’s Sports Properties General Manager. “We look forward to working with them on their creative approach to our partnership.”

For more information, contact Gloria Benfari, MFS Vice President & Marketing Director, at [email protected].

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