C.J.: Former U president Magrath marries Maryland reverend

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 24, 2011 - 7:32 PM

Former U prez C. Peter Magrath experienced no pre-marriage jitters as we chatted Friday, the day that "nut-case, self-promoting, I think evangelical minister predicted the world was going to end."

Despite the doomsday prediction, Magrath was certain that Saturday he would marry the Rev. Susan Thon (pronounced: tone), rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Bethesda, Md.

The outgoing president of New York's Binghamton University and widower of beloved, pioneering Twin Cities newspaper editor Deborah Howell, telephoned to "give you, as Debbie would say, the headlines." Howell died in January 2010 when struck by a car while vacationing with Magrath in New Zealand.

"I am Episcopalian -- that's not normally relevant, but it is here," said Magrath, as he talked about marrying "the rector of a small Episcopal church this lady built into a little powerhouse. She [Thon] was a very good friend of Deborah's. In fact, she took Deborah's confirmation as an Episcopalian many years ago. She and Deborah were going to do stuff, paint and other things that never, of course, happened because Deborah was horribly, tragically killed.

"She and I have been friends for many years. I have a house right near the church; I chaired the church board. She was my counselor and helper in the darkest moments after Deborah's horrible death," he said. "Without going into all the details, we started talking back around the summer of 2010. I was in Binghamton because I run this university and she was in Bethesda. We are going to get married tomorrow and it's really wonderful."

Thon had been married 30 years when "her husband, in effect, left her," said Magrath of his fourth wife.

Everywhere Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, went in the D.C. area over the weekend, she was greeted with, Did you hear? Peter married the minister!

Dalglish said she met the minister when she led Howell's memorial service at the National Cathedral because the Bethesda church was too small. After leaving the Pioneer Press in 1990, Howell, who was also an editor at the Minneapolis Star, became Newhouse News Service's Washington bureau chief and later ombudsman of the Washington Post.

"He adored Deborah and was lonely without her. I am absolutely thrilled. Everybody is," said Dalglish, noting that Magrath's new wife is a lovely person.

After the ceremony, the couple planned a trip to the Greek island of Crete. They share a love of travel and something more unusual: "Her name gets mispronounced and misspelled just like mine," said Magrath (pronounced McGraw).

Our chat began with me telling him that I still keep posted an April 19, 1990, note from Debbie that read: "C.J. -- His name is spelled Magrath. D"

Congratulations.

Definitely R-rated

Shock-a-did.

On "The View" Friday, Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg said Kim Kardashian's family was "shock-a-did," as in shocked, to hear that President Obama did not like his daughters watching the Kardashians' reality show, although the First Lady permits it just to make sure the First Girls realize lots of the behavior is "crazy."

Kim, and even more so her sisters, need to look at that show through rational eyes:

• Adult children hurling the most vile names at their manager, who also is their mother.

• Celebrity, fame and riches born of a graphic sex tape.

• An X-ray examination of Kim's behind to authenticate its realness.

• Food being blessed at the dinner table while adult children are busy texting.

• Showcasing a lifestyle of vulgar extravagance in these times.

• Outright disrespect for family members who are not blood relations, such as Kim's husband-of-the-moment, Kris Humphries, and his Minnesota family who were relegated to riding in vans to the wedding.

No, keeping up with these Kardashians is definitely adult viewing, and not for impressionable young minds.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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