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Remembering Rosalind Joel

Rosalind Nyman Joel, the mother of famous singer/songwriter Billy Joel, died last Sunday at the age of 92. The Hicksville resident, who was involved with numerous charities and organizations in the community, was the inspiration behind Billy's song, “Rosalinda’s Eyes," off his 1978 album 52nd Street. One of the famous lyrics from the song is “I’ve got music in my hands; The work is hard to find; But that don’t get me down; Rosalinda understands.”

Rosalind was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 15, 1922 to Philip and Rebecca Nyman who emigrated from England. She met her husband, Howard, in 1942 while attending a City College of New York musical production. The couple married three years later and had their son, William "Billy" Martin Joel in 1949. Later on they adopted their daughter, Judy, who was the daughter of Rosalind’s late sister, Muriel. The couple’s marriage lasted 11 years until they divorced in 1957.

After their son was born, the couple moved out of Brooklyn to Hicksville so they could reside in the suburbs. Howard was an accomplished pianist, but it was Rosalind who helped push her son to study the piano. At the age of four, Billy showed an amazing aptitude for the instrument and by the time he was 16, he was already a professional, having joined his third band before he could even drive.

While Billy was out performing at musical gigs in the area, Rosalind was working various clerical positions in Hicksville, trying to put food on the table for her family.

After her son’s musical success, she remained very active in the community, working with local charities and organizations. She contributed much of her time and energy to the Little Shelter animal rescue and adoption center in Huntington, taking care of abandoned and abused animals.

The family has asked that all donations be made to the The Little Shelter animal rescue and adoption center in Huntington.

She is survived by her son, Billy Joel, and her daughter, Judy Molinari, her sister, Bertha Miller; and her two granddaughters, Alexa Ray Joel, and Rebecca Molinari Gehrkin.

News

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.


Sports

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com