Antoinette Solomon Parmet obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Antoinette Solomon Parmet

Unknown

Obituary


To celebrate the lives of Sol and Toni Parmet, who passed away recently, there will be a brief interment ceremony for close friends and family held at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on June 17, 2017, at 1 PM (see directions below.)

That will be followed by a jazz reception from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at The Well (formerly the Duck Creek Tavern and formerly the Chart Room), one of their favorite places to meet friends and make music. Light refreshments will be served. (Google The Well Tavern & Kitchen for directions.)...

To celebrate the lives of Sol and Toni Parmet, who passed away recently, there will be a brief interment ceremony for close friends and family held at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on June 17, 2017, at 1 PM (see directions below.)

That will be followed by a jazz reception from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at The Well (formerly the Duck Creek Tavern and formerly the Chart Room), one of their favorite places to meet friends and make music. Light refreshments will be served. (Google The Well Tavern & Kitchen for directions.)

All are welcome to remember Toni and Sol with a drink, a dance, and a story.

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Antoinette ("Toni") Jane Parmet
April 29, 1923 - November 20, 2016


Toni Parmet was born in 1923, a middle child struggling to be heard in a large, loud Italian family in East Boston. Her parents were both born in Italy and met in a hardscrabble coal mining community outside of Pittsburgh. They escaped by getting married; her mother was 13 and her father barely 17. Once their seven children had arrived, there were four girls sharing one bed, three boys sharing another, and all nine hungry souls sharing one quarter pound of butter a week during the depression. Surprisingly, when she was just 8 years old, she was so quiet and shy that her mother delighted in predicting that she would be a nun. But that early reticence did not prove to be a predictor of future behavior. Toni was smart, she was fearless, and she never took "No" as the final answer. When prohibited from visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts because of the presence of so many naked men, she persevered until her father relented and agreed to accompany her himself.

At a time when the highest ambition allowed an Italian woman was to marry and have many children, Toni won a scholarship to BU and continued there until she became the youngest woman to earn a Masters Degree in Social Work. She was just 22. And Toni continued to use her smarts, her savvy, and her fearlessness to fight for the helpless, the friendless, and the neediest among us. She began her career right after school with the Red Cross, providing therapeutic comfort and care for shell-shocked soldiers committed to a Rhode Island psychiatric hospital. From helping broken soldiers she turned her passionate commitment to helping children and adolescents, acting as a psychiatric social worker in Brooklyn, first as caseworker and later as Chief Social Worker at the Brooklyn Neuropsychiatric Clinic. It was at that time, at a mixer hosted by some of her co-workers, that she met Solomon Parmet, who became the love of her life--a starving musician in a zoot suit who had crashed the party for the free booze and plentiful food. Once again, the fact that she was already engaged to be married to a psychiatrist did not deter her from pursuing her chosen course!

Soon they married and moved to Rochester, New York. But the suburbs could not contain Toni's restless spirit and she moved them back to Brooklyn to the very apartment house where she lived for the next 63 years, and where she passed away last November 20 in her bed, listening to the voice of her beloved granddaughter Lianna, a little late for her date with Sol who had passed one year before.

With her exit she continued her life-long ability to live life on her own terms. She was among the rst women to head the Adolescent Clinic at New York Hospital where she spent 11 years as a supervisor inspiring a generation of school social workers, a job she followed with a dozen years as Training Supervisor for a staff of over 200 professionals. In 1986 she was named Supervisor of the Year by the New York City Board of Education. And, in one of her proudest pioneering moments, she was the first woman to be named President of the Parents' Association of the barely coeducational Stuyvesant High School. And yet, she was a
woman of such energy that she managed her role as a working woman without missing a beat as both a devoted mother and a loving wife.

She supported and inspired Sol to play his bass as often as possible, singing along whenever she could. And she never completely abandoned her Italian heritage, presiding over hundreds of dinners where all were welcome to talk, laugh, and eat copious amounts of delicious food. At that table she also served as the bold and glamorous "Auntie Mame" to a host of nieces and other teens who flocked to her warmth, acceptance, and exciting conversation. Finally, she became the tireless "Nanna" who would patiently play endless games of dress-up and Princess make-believe with her two devoted granddaughters.

Antoinette is survived by her sister, Rosemarie Marmo Tirrell, her daughter, Davina Parmet, and her two granddaughters, Lianna and Sasha Reagan.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the First Unitarian Church, 48 Monroe Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201, a place of great comfort to her in her later years.

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Solomon Parmet
July 17, 1920 - October 28, 2015


Solomon (Sol) was born in Allentown, PA, the eldest son of George and Frieda Parmet, themselves recent immigrants to America from Russia and the Ukraine. As a boy, Sol early on showed his quiet strength as a strong swimmer and his early promise in music, excelling at the bass fiddle. By the time he turned 16, he was a certified life guard, a decorated Eagle Scout, and the youngest pit musician who ever played the burlesque house in his home town. During his first real "gig," Sol not only earned good money for a teenager, he also enjoyed the maternal protection of Lois Dafee, and many other well-known, well-endowed stars of the day.

After Sol graduated from high school, the world was at war and, like many others, Sol joined the army in 1942. He was selected to train as a radio operator. Though his musical contribution to the war effort was limited to entertaining the soldiers on his troop ship to the Orient, Sol made contributions in more meaningful ways. Like many of his generation, he never talked about it, but he did his duty. Fighting the Japanese from Kunming, China with the Flying Tigers, he distinguished himself and was awarded two Bronze Stars, one for using his life guard skills to save the ship's cook from drowning when their troop ship was torpedoed.

Before using the GI Bill to earn his business degree from NYU, Sol had a few years to live his real dream-he worked full time as a jazz bassist. As an impoverished musician sharing digs on 49th Street with his peers, grabbing what gigs he could, he learned how to make ends meet, surviving on the free sandwich buffets that could be had for the price of a beer, which, at the time, cost a dime. It was during one of his quests for free food that he met Toni Marmo, who became the love of his life. She was a social worker co-hosting a party. Sol came to eat but found a banquet. A few years later, on November 19, 1949, they were wed. Later they moved to Rochester, New York, but neither could stay away from New York City for long, so in 1953 they moved to Brooklyn, to the building on Grace Court. New York agreed with them, and Sol earned another degree, this time from Columbia Teachers College, and became a full time teacher. He proudly served the teens of Staten Island, teaching typing and other business subjects, and returning to the pit band for the occasional high school musical, at Curtis High School for 25 years.

In 1958, Sol and Toni had a much loved daughter, and together they were free to spend summers in Wellfleet, MA, swimming, fishing, and schmoozing on the beach. They filled their evenings with music and song-at home, and in local juke joints and honky-tonks where Sol would blissfully play bass and Toni would charismatically belt out a tune or two.

Sol is survived by his daughter, Davina Parmet and her husband Paul Reagan, and his two beloved granddaughters, Lianna and Sasha.

In lieu of flowers, donations be made in Solomon's honor to the Housing and Emergency Assistance Program of the Jazz Foundation of America, http://www.jazzfoundation.org/memory_honor