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.