Noel Osment
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Noel Osment 1928 - 2020 LA JOLLA Noel Osment was a reporter and feature writer for the San Diego Union for 24 years and covered the "Women's section" and then the retitled section, "Currents" before her retirement in 1993. Noel passed away in March, at age 91, with the love and care of her family present. Juggling her career and raising a family was her driving force in her life. She kept in contact with many of her colleagues, enjoying a monthly luncheon group, the Mild Bunch, plus keeping up and contributing with stories and opinions, through a newsletter group, the 919 Gang. Noel loved people and would unconsciously "interview" most anyone she met. She enjoyed people for their stories and history. She was a wordsmith! A devoted crossword puzzler, you could call her anytime you needed a word, a meaning. Noel wasn't one for shallow greetings on the phone, but got right to business. And if there was a story to be told, she had it. Her mind incredibly sharp; her memory compared to no one. She related to people because of her wide girth of knowledge and interests.Noel is survived by her children, Stasia, Sabrina Berry, Kevin, Michael (Lara, Ava and Flynn), and Leslie Barbier and family Danny (Jessica), Brooke (Adam), Briana (Wes), Matt (Cameron), and five great-grandchildren, whom she delighted in.Noel grew up in Saddle River, New Jersey and recounted her life of Republican parents whose best friends were Democrats and would have the most wonderful debates that would go on into the late evenings. She wished for those intelligent debates for our current times. She never got to see a female president. She grew up when girls were required to wear skirts to school no matter the temperature, and where you dressed up to go on a train. After college at William Smith & Hobart in New York, she lived and worked in Manhattan and later received her Masters degree from Columbia. In her career she experienced the times in New York where a woman had limited options of the type of job she could apply for, (and pay that was markedly reduced compared to a man's). She taught English to high school students for a short time, then worked in publishing before moving west to San Francisco. She later wrote for the Arizona Daily Star, in Tucson, followed by the Arizona Republic in Phoenix and starting her family. In 1967, she moved to La Jolla where she continued her career, raised her family and eventually enjoyed a long retirement period.Noel continued to lead a social life with many friends of all ages, continuing to cultivate new friendships all through her life. She was an avid reader of books, magazines including the Atlantic and New Yorker, her daily hard copy newspaper, plus the New York Times online. She was a member of two book clubs, meeting 1-2 times per week and devouring 2-3 books to discuss each meeting. Non-fiction and biographies were her favorite. It was not uncommon for her to read as many as 3 books at a time, 2 for a club and 1 for pleasure.She loved to keep current on all topics and enjoyed watching PBS, Trevor Noah, The Daily Show, plus any British series or dramas like Downton Abbey. She supported organizations such as inewsource, kpbs, and Friends of the La Jolla library. Her grandkids and great-grandkids could always count on a new story for birthdays and Christmas. She took acting workshops with the Seniors Acting Group and enjoyed lectures in architecture held downtown. She hadn't had much of a chance to travel before retirement, so she traveled as much as possible with friends, family and on her own, including a summer studying at Oxford. Noel, Mom, Nana, GrandNana has given us cherished memories and is missed by all who knew her.Her family will be honoring her August 2, 2020, and any shared memories are welcome online.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jul. 26, 2020.
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8 entries
August 21, 2020
Growing up in Saddle River, NJ, Noel was close friends with my Mom Beatrice, and particularly with my Aunt Patricia. I often as a child and young adult shared time with Noel at my grandparents' home just down the street. She provided a refreshing conversational break (along with my Aunt Pat) from the neverending reactionary drum beat pervading the room. Noel helped me to accept the possibility that I too had a message to deliver. Many years later, on a visit to La Jolla, we shared a laugh over Richard Nixon's decision to spend his final years in disgrace at a condo in Saddle River, where he ventured out on special occasions, with Secret Service escort, to the local asian food eatery.

Condolences to the family, and a joyful recollection of a life very well lived.
Roger Peterman
August 21, 2020
In 1968, Noel had written a brilliant full page article for the San Diego Union about me, my family and my band (Gnarly Beast). Noel had reported the story of how my life revolved around my music, band and family when I was 15 years old. I was required by my parents to maintain a B average at La Jolla High especially if I were going to play gigs with my band. Through Noel's genuine journalism, her story touched many people throughout San Diego and helped gain respect and admiration for me and my family. Being a long time friend of Noel's daughter, Sabrina, I was able to see and spend time talking with Noel these past few years. Noel always impressed me by her intelligence, independence, strength and her caring of others.
Roger Nemour
August 3, 2020
I knew Noel through LJ Newcomers Club many years ago, in an offshoot of the club of those with young children. Glad to read she contributed so much to the community through her writing efforts.
Sending sympathy to the family. Bonnie Wilson, La Jolla
July 30, 2020
Good day members of Ms Noel's family:

I was an acting colleague of Noel's with the Oasis Actors for several years .
She was always a joy to work with , very supported of cast members , always prepared , friendly and most caring . I 'm sorry for your loss .
I knew she worked for the San Diego Union but was not aware of her long career as a journalist from Columbia University to the profession . She obviously had much courage and confidence to become a journalist when in her day the , for the most part , the sign on the door said " Men Only " .
She was a pioneer--no wonder acting was a " piece of cake " . We all have good memories of Noel .

Frank Ferrone
July 28, 2020
My condolences to the family on Noel's passing. Working for the same publisher, I found Noel to be extremely bright, fun and warm-hearted. Some 30 years later she was the same sharp, caring, wonderful
individual. Most importantly, she was a great newspaper person.
Andrea Herman Schmidt
July 27, 2020
Noel was a truly remarkable lady. A wonderful conversationalist expressing her views and feelings with a perfect blend of intelligence, wit and sincerity
Richard Topp
July 27, 2020
what a lovely tribute to a life well lived. Noel was always so proud of her family. I enjoyed hearing her stories at the Mild Bunch lunches and running into her on Sundays at the farmers market in La Jolla. May she Rest In Peace.
Gina Lubrano
July 27, 2020
Such a lovely tribute to a life well lived. Noel was so proud of her family. I always enjoyed hearing her stories at the Mild Bunch lunches and running into her at the farmers market in La Jolla. May she Rest In Peace.
Gina Lubrano
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