Sunday, February 07, 2010

OBITUARIES OF TWO WOMEN I WISH I HAD MET IN PERSON

Both of these obituaries are from the January 31, 2010 New York Times.

MON TOY--Mary, 93,

died on December 7, 2009 in her beloved New York City. A triple threat: Latin Quarter showgirl; original Broadway cast member in The World of Suzy Wong and House of Flowers; on television on Kojak, Ryan's Hope, Teahouse of the August Moon, I Spy and Drs. Hospital; in movies in Airplane II and Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. She was the first Asian runway model in Paris. Born in Hawaii, her family moved to Seattle in the 1920's only to be uprooted and sent to the Minidoka Japanese American Internment Camp after Pearl Harbor. She left the camp in 1944 on a scholarship to Juilliard procured by Eleanor Roosevelt. The rest of her life was spent in New York City where she was an active member of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors' Equity, and generous supporter of The Actors Fund, animal rights and The Japanese American National Museum. A celebration of her life will take place on Sunday, January 31 at 1pm. Call 212-580-0052 for information.


ATWATER--Phyllis Yvonne. She was born on November 4, 1947. She died peacefully in her home in New York City on December 12, 2009. Phyllis is survived: by her husband, John R. Ernst; her mother, Thelda E. Phillips Atwater; and her sister Bertha L. Atwater. Phyllis was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Precocious and brilliant, she entered Vassar College at age 16 and graduated with honors with a degree in Mathematics in 1968. She then went on to obtain her Master's degree in Mathematics from Boston University. Post graduation, Phyllis helped create Roxbury Community College. It was also at this time that she met and then married John on December 28, 1972. As Phyllis continued her academic career she won a fellowship from the Ford Foundation. She then became a Danforth Foundation Dissertation Fellow at the New School, where she worked on her doctoral dissertation, "The Difference between Depreciation Charges and Replacement Costs." In the 1980s Phyllis was President of R2B2 (Resource Recovery of the Borough of the Bronx). Subsequent to this position she then held a number of high-level state and city government positions, both in New York and Massachusetts. Most recently Phyllis served as the Director of the Certification Unit for the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program. Phyllis was also very active in the community. She was on the board of directors of the Girls and Boys Project and the Scenic Hudson Foundation. Most recently, Phyllis was a founding member of the Psi Lambda Omega Brooklyn chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Phyllis was a woman of great intellect, warmth, humor, wit, insight, and commitment. She touched everyone she knew and will be missed by her immediate family, her uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Thank you Phyllis, for sharing your life with us! In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Atwater Foundation (located at 64 Fulton Street Suite 404, New York, NY 10038-2755). The foundation is a non-profit organization started in her honor, and will support scholarship in the areas of education, economics and the environment. Please be sure to join Phyllis's family and friends at 6pm on March 17, 2010 for a celebration of her life at Trinity Church in New York City. For more information please contact the toll free number, 1-866-271-4900 or email celebration@pipeline.com.
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