In the March issue of the VOTER, we mourned the loss of three of our long time members who were not only active in our League, but also exceptional women of their time. Below is just a little bit of information on each, as promised in the last issue. Special thanks to the members of their families who provided most of the information.
Ellie graduated from Brooklyn College in 1947 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She taught high school math for a while, then was hired by IBM and became the tabulating supervisor of the computing staff at IBM’s Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University, where she also took courses toward her Master’s degree. One of Ellie’s first assignments was to compute the orbits of asteroids. After Ellie left IBM to raise a family, she worked for Dr. Louis Green of Haverford College for many years solving differential equations and doing Fortran programming. She used Dr. Green’s computing time on the powerful CDC computer at NYU, and was subsequently hired part time by NYU. Among her many jobs was one as a consultant to researchers using Fortran programs and developing web pages for various NYU projects. She retired from NYU in 2006. During much of the time that Ellie worked at NYU, she was an active member of the League of Women Voters of Hempstead East (now LWV of East Nassau) where she worked with and became a friend of many. When she moved to Florida, she continued to use her computer skills, maintaining a website and database for over 1,000 people at her country club. Though Ellie was no longer a member of our League, some members visited her in Florida, and maintained contact via email and Facebook.
After graduating from Queens College, Lorraine Newman worked with children at a Settlement House on the Lower East Side. She met her husband Leon while in college, married and made a home in East Meadow with her two small children, then went to Hofstra for her MS in Education. Lorraine worked at Seamans Neck Elementary School in Levittown, teaching primary and intermediate students. She worked with special education students and began an outdoor education program for the entire 6th grade class, taking them to an upstate camp to practice what they learned. After retiring from the Levittown school district, Lorraine worked as a supervisor of student teachers for Dowling College. She traveled extensively with her husband Leon to China and the Soviet Union (shortly after Nixon reinstated trade). They saw the pyramids, rode camels, boated on canals, saw the bush in Australia, cruised New Zealand, and made many European and North American trips. An avid reader and learner, Lorraine participated in discussion and film groups. She was a member of multiple book clubs, the Meadowbrook Womens’ Initiative and Hazak. As someone who believed in ‘giving back’, Lorraine took on leadership roles in the League of Women Voters, was involved in politics and volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She will be fondly remembered as someone who loved her family, viewed life with enthusiasm and believed in public service.
After attending St. John’s University for two years, Barbara married William H. Parry, Esq., who predeceased her. She is survived by her children, Barbara, Bill, Marian, and Regina; her grandchildren, Alex, Angela, Julia, Maria, and Tom; her sister-in-law, Sr. Mary Parry; and her nieces and nephew, Katherine, Camille and Tom. While raising her family, Barbara went back to college and finished her B.A. She furthered her education with a J.D. at St. John’s University School of Law and practiced banking law at Credit Lyonnais. A woman ahead of her time, she studied for her JD when her children were young, and was fortunate that her husband took a great deal of responsibility for raising the children while she was in law school. After retiring from her law career, she worked as a mediator. Apart from her dedication to family and career, Barbara was a passionate progressive activist, volunteering her time to League, Water for Long Island, the New York Democratic Lawyers Council and the North Town of Oyster Bay Democratic Club.