SICA--Carmen. Skilled professional, comic genius, extravagant hostess, loyal friend, and great soul, Carmen Sica left this world on April 21, 2014 after a long illness. Born in Brooklyn on October 26, 1948, daughter of Antonio and Encarna Soler, she began what would be the professional work of her life in 1966, at the age of 18, in the steno pool of Davis Polk & Wardwell. She went on to become a Davis Polk legend, and a beloved and admired figure to a generation of Davis Polk lawyers and staff. Spectacularly competent, supremely intelligent, rigorously organized, and beautifully trained, Carmen was an old fashioned (in the best sense possible) legal secretary. We shall not look upon her like again. Apart from the lightning speed of her fingers, and her indefatigable energy long into the night as deadlines loomed, Carmen understood and contributed to the cases she worked on. Woe to the senior partner who fell in love with a weak argument--"Doesn't your balloon ever land?" She spoke truth to power in the funniest possible way, but her actual point was to assist with the case. She was a consummate professional with a twinkle in her eye and a heart much softer than she liked to acknowledge. Her razor wit, her keen eye for the absurd, and her sometimes scathing (but always hilarious) commentary were reserved for the people she liked and admired. Her good heart never made public fun of those less intellectually fortunate than herself. Having left Davis Polk in 1993 with her good friend Ann McDonald (a move for which Ann was eternally grateful), Carmen continued her amazing legal work at Robinson McDonald & Canna. In addition to her day job at that firm, Carmen was Ann's keeper for the next 20 years. To Ann, as to so many many others, Carmen was a devoted and loyal friend and was generous to a fault. To all her friends, Carmen was also the hostess with the mostest! Summers at Carmen's house in East Atlantic Beach were a festival of food, drink, swimming, many friends and, most of all, merriment and laughter--side splitting laughter because Carmen's comic wit was on a world class level. This was a funny lady! And she was a kind and generous and wise lady too. She had a host of friends that loved her and that she loved, and those relationships took and stuck and lasted long. Carmen is survived by her family in Spain, Maria Elena, Juan Antonio and others, by her brother, Raymond Gil, and by her nephew and niece, Ray and Mercedes Gil. She is also survived by the love of troops of friends and family, including Natalie and Matt, Laura and Michael, Camille and David, Mary R., Christine and Anthony, Mary and Andy, Mark, Bernard, Fritzie, Billy, Amy, Ann, Jayne, Christine C., Lisa, Liz and many many more. She had a big and loving heart, and everyone who knew her adored her and will miss her. "There's a great spirit gone!" William Shakespeare.
Published in The New York Times on May 11, 2014