Dorothy Redden née Radici

This lovely bride was Mrs. John E. Redden whose wedding reception took place on May 24, 1944, at the Halfmoon Hotel.

Thank you, whoever wrote the information on the back of the photo, for all these useful clues! Such a pity this photo has gotten lost in history, but let’s see if we can find out who this radiant bride was!

The newest tool in my research – my subscription of – came in very handy this time – I found the below marriage announcement on page 10 of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from May 28, 1944, mentioning the bride and groom and their wedding location at the Half Moon Hotel!

We have our bride’s name, yeah! Dorothy Ann Radici was born on December 7, 1921, in Brooklyn, New York, as the youngest daughter of Dominick Jerome Radici (1885-1955) and Mary R. née Lilly (1891-1987).

Dorothy’s paternal grandparents Carlo and Rosa Radici had come to the United States in the 1870s from Italy. Grandpa Carlo owned a fruit store in Manhattan for many years, until he retired to New Jersey in the 1910s. Dorothy’s maternal grandmother Katherine Lilly had been Irish. Dorothy’s parents Dominick and Mary had got married in 1910, and Dorothy’s sisters Rita M. Radici Sharp (1911-2007), Rose A. Radici Trimble (1913-1993) and Lillian “Lilly” C. Radici Lynch (1915-2011) were all more than 10 years older than Dorothy.

According to Dominick Radici’s WWI draft card, he was a fireman, employed by the Engine Company #31 of the New York Fire Department at the time. According to wikipedia, firehouse Engine Company 31 is a historic fire station located at 87 Lafayette Street between Walker and White Streets in the Civic Center neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

In 1930 the family was living at 1821 West 13th St in Brooklyn. Perhaps this was Dorothy’s home?

Source: GoogleMaps

In 1940, Dorothy was 18 and working as a typist at the New York Hotel Association.

And then the United States found itself in the turmoil of WWII. But somehow in the midst of the war chaos and young men being shipped off to fight for freedom, Dorothy met the love of her life – John Edward Redden, and the couple got married on May 24, 1944, in Brooklyn.

As the wedding took place in New York, I’m fairly certain the Half Moon Hotel mentioned as location was the one that used to stand on the Broadwalk in Coney Island. It had been opened in 1927 as a hotel and became a popular and prominent venue for weddings and other festivities. I found lots of interesting information about the Half Moon Hotel as well as the postcard below HERE.


After the Half Moon Hotel had lost its glory due to the Great Depression and WWII, it was turned into a naval hospital and a rehabilitation centre in 1943. As can be read in the newspaper clip above, Dorothy’s husband was a Lieutenant, perhaps this explains the choice of the location in May 1944. I hope the wedding didn’t take place at the hospital because the groom was injured, though!

The military left the building in 1946 and unfortunately, after having changed ownership many times after WWII, the building was demolished in 1996 before it could be landmarked.

But now back to Mr. and Mrs. Redden. Dorothy and John had 3 sons: Clifford B., John Edward Jr. and Kevin J., and 3 daughters: Dorothy, Mary and Christine Redden, and at least 13 grandchildren!

Dorothy passed away on March 9, 1998, in Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey, and was buried at the Saint Rose of Lima Cemetery in Freehold. And although I did not find an obituary for her, I’m going to leave you here with an obituary of her husband John, who passed away on Oct 31, 2003. The obituary was published in the Asbury Park Press of November 2, 2003. It lists all Dorothy’s descendants and other relatives who might be interested in having this lovely photo returned to the family photo album!

I’ve added Dorothy’s photo to FindaGrave.

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