Photo Credit: Handout
Rosemary Reder, skimming newspaper clippings chronicling her mother's birthday celebration in February, recalled how she "sparkled like a queen" in a gold dress.
"She kept saying, 'I'm going to be 100, I'm going to be 100,' " said Reder, of East Meadow. "She just couldn't wait. She was like a kid waiting for ice cream."
Frances Reder, a longtime East Meadow community leader who helped launch the local chamber of commerce, died June 7 at a nursing facility in Roslyn Heights -- four months after becoming a centenarian.
Reder, one of 10 children, was born in Manhattan and raised by Italian immigrant parents. She moved to East Meadow with her husband, Louis, in 1950, the family said.
Along with assisting at her husband's army-navy surplus store, Reder was a co-founder of the East Meadow chamber, which now boasts more than 140 member businesses. She also was active in the Kiwanis Club and Rosary Society of St. Brigid's Catholic Church in Westbury, among other groups.
"The best way to describe her would be as the unofficial mayor of East Meadow," said Greg Peterson, a former Hempstead Town supervisor who knew her growing up. "She always put the community first."
In the early 1960s, the Reders moved to Westbury with their three daughters -- Rosemary, Ann and Gale. Frances began working as a clerk for the Nassau County courts, a job she held for 30 years.
Nassau County Judge Frank Gulotta, who knew Reder while practicing as a young lawyer, recalled her gregarious personality and eagerness to help clients and their attorneys.
Long after leaving her leadership posts, Reder remained a beloved member of the community. Attendees at her 100th birthday party included Gulotta; his brother, former Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta; and County Legis. Norma Gonsalves. Reder received a lifetime achievement award from the chamber and a letter signed by President Barack Obama and the first lady.
Survivors include another daughter, Ann Jensen, of Jupiter, Fla.; three sisters, Dolores Storch, Rose Silece and Regina Ricarrdi, all of Manhattan; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Reder was predeceased by her husband and by a daughter, Gale Anziano.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday at St. Brigid's, followed by burial at Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury.