A founding member of The Palm Beach Folk Club, Daisy Newell, passed away this week. She will be missed. One of her great friends, also a Club Member, Carol Agramonte, wrote the following:
Just a few words about our friend, Daisy….
Daisy was a woman who brought people together. She had many friends
and acquaintances, and those who met her for the first time usually
did not forget her. She was an avid storyteller, and loved to speak
of her early life in New York City. She was one of three children of
parents who immigrated from Salonika, Greece, and her earliest
language was Ladino. She was a Sephardic Jew, and proudly belonged to
an organization and synagogue here in Florida that kept the traditions
of the Sephardim. She was a very important woman in their
organization. I was told that she spoke the Ladino language fluently,
and was instrumental in helping and teaching those who wished to
perfect their ability to speak. With her beautiful soprano voice and
her beloved guitar, she also sang and performed many songs in Ladino
from her Sephardic culture that she had learned as a young woman.
In her final days at the age of 92, she told me that she had had a
wonderful life. She said that she had actually lived three
lives, one in Harbor Isle (Island Park), Long Island, the second in
Israel, and of course, the third, here in Boynton Beach, Florida.
It was over 40 years ago when I first met her at a Folk Music Club on
Long Island. She sang with two other women, and their trio was
called “Pear Tree.” They later increased the number of their trio to
five, and became “The International Entertainers,” performing at
various venues on Long Island.
In the 1970’s she, her husband, Jack and other friends from her Long
Island neighborhood decided to pack up their lives and move to Israel.
There, Daisy embarked on her next endeavor, which was to create
beautiful paintings and enamelings. She had shows, and people came
and purchased many of her works. However, when the economy changed,
both Daisy and some of the friends who had traveled to Israel to live,
decided to return to the United States. They found their way to
Florida, and Daisy, Jack and others settled in Boynton Beach.
During her time in Israel, Daisy and I kept in touch, and by the time
she returned to the States in 1987, my husband, Pete and I were
looking to buy a place in Florida. Daisy wanted us to buy near her and
Jack, and,fortunately, we were able to do just that. We ended up only
ten minutes away by car. The year was 1988.
Daisy was very active in the Palm Beach County Folk Club, and whenever
Pete and I would come to Florida ( we still had a residence up North),
she would insist that we become members of the club. Through Daisy,
we met many wonderful musicians, and had many years of parties and
enjoyment due to the involvement in the club.
In Daisy’s later years, (well into her late 80’s), she studied
intensely in order to become a Docent at the Norton Museum in West
Palm Beach, FL. She loved to learn about the new exhibits, and impart
her knowledge to the guests at the museum. She was a woman who loved
life and always wanted to learn as much as she could about all things
that interested her.
Four years ago, she had mentioned to Pete and me that she had always
wanted to travel across Florida to the West Coast to the town of
Tarpon Springs. We decided to take a mini vacation with her, and we
had a great time. In fact, it was so good, that the following year we
decided to take another four day vacation to MIami. One of the last
things she said to me in the hospital, was “Let’s talk about the
wonderful times we had….”
Many people feel the loss of Daisy Newell. She was a woman very much
loved by those who were privileged to know her. We
hope that she is now at peace with her beloved husband, Jack, and her
family, and other departed friends.
Gene: These are my thought about my friend, Daisy, whom we loved, dearly.