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Obituary: Diane Nelson Scheinman

Diane Nelson Scheinman, of Sarasota, FL, died peacefully at home on Aug. 27, 2009. Born on Feb. 25, 1934, she was 75 years old. She is survived by her daughters, Julie Murkette and her husband Joseph Murkette of Hardwick, MA, Nancy Scheinman-Wheeler and her husband James Wheeler of Baltimore, MD; sons John Scheinman of Washington, DC, and Andrew Scheinman and his wife Lee Shropshire of Nashville, TN; seven grandchildren, Kerstin Wheeler, Alena Wheeler, Robin DePesa, Ryan DePesa, Kim Murkette, Tristan Murkette and Colin Murkette; and two great-grandchildren, Maia Murkette and Gianluca Murkette.

Ms. Scheinman was an accomplished poet, who often drew on the immigrant experience of her family, which escaped pogroms in Russia and made their way to the Tidewater region of Virginia. The author of three books of poetry, her book Walking on Court Street told vivid stories of her childhood in Portsmouth, with evocative descriptions of the area and family, bringing a vanished past back to life. She married Peter Scheinman in 1954 and they divorced in 1978. She moved from Virginia to York, PA, in 1957. The family moved to Port Washington in 1967. There, she was an active volunteer with Port Alert, a youth drug counseling center, where she helped organize a fund-raising concert featuring the Count Basie Orchestra. She sold advertising for a Long Island antiques magazine and enjoyed interacting with the antiques dealers all over New York. Later, she worked as an advertising executive for Utensco, a manufacturing company. In 1990, Ms. Scheinman moved to Sarasota, FL, a city she fell in love with. She participated in book groups, poetry readings and workshops, and enjoyed attending her Chavurah, the theater and concerts. She was a volunteer at the Womens Resource Center, and was active in local and national politics. She helped found a support group for chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, an illness she battled for years.

Ms. Scheinman deeply valued her relationships with friends that she maintained throughout her life. She was preceded in death by her father David Nelson; her mother Nettie Nelson; and brother Steven Nelson.

A memorial celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. at the Landings Clubhouse in Sarasota. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the CFIDS Association of America, PO Box 220398, Charlotte, NC 28222-0398 and Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.

Arrangements were made by the Wiegand Brothers Funeral Home.