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Toni Wyman

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Toni Wyman Obituary
Wyman, Toni
A remarkable, smart, resilient, elegant and very funny woman passed away suddenly on November 4 – Lotte Ann Novak Wyman. But everybody knew her as Toni.
Toni lived 89 long and wonderful years, 67 of them with her husband, Ralph, her rock, by her side. She was born in Vienna in 1925, but as a child of war, she was sent to England at age 12, along with her baby sister, Gert, to escape. There at boarding school, she learned English to perfection, a skill that she used lifelong to correct her family's - and anybody else's - grammar whenever necessary! She also acquired a self-reliance and a dedication to make her world a better place, both attributes that would serve her well. At age 15, her family was reunited in New York City, and she then attended boarding school at Northfield Mt. Hermon and went on to graduate from Barnard College in 1947. Shortly after, she married the love of her life, Ralph, on October 25, and in 1950 began her life in Greenwich.
Toni became an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, a professional in every sense of the word except salary. She was a woman of vision, astute and stubborn, and over the years served on the board of more than thirty national and local organizations including: founder of the Greenwich Arts Council, Advisory Director of the Metropolitan Opera Association, Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, Greenwich Board of Parks and Recreation, Purchase College Foundation, the Community Chest (now United Way), the National Executive Service Corps, and Parsonage Cottage, among many others. She also was President of the YWCA and one of the driving forces to move the Y from Milbank Avenue to its current location and building on Putnam Avenue. Many honors came her way, much to her chagrin, as she was very humble and never sought them. Among them were being one of only four people to be named a lifetime member of the Council for the Arts at MIT.
Not only a champion of many important causes, Toni was a champion of fun. Whether she was on the hunt for a hot dog, going for a sail, skiing, or laughing at a dirty joke, a colorful life was a good life for Toni. She shared her youthful sense of wonder and wicked sense of humor with her family until the day she died.
However, her greatest accomplishment was her family.
Described by friends as beloved, elegant but not flashy, smart and sophisticated but not arrogant, generous of spirit, warm, always happy to see you, artistic, an original, a piece of work, unorthodox, a collector of stray dogs and people at Thanksgiving, an art and music devotee, and always there for others, Toni was one of the great ladies of Greenwich. She is survived by her husband, Ralph, her daughter, Leslie Cooper (John), her grandchildren Mark, Clare and Eric Cooper, her sister, Lisl Gaal of St. Paul, MN, and countless other beloved family members.
There will be a celebration of Toni's life in January, 2015. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Toni's name to Parsonage Cottage, 88 Parsonage Road, Greenwich, CT 06831 or to Purchase College Foundation, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577 or by calling (914) 251-6040.

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Published in GreenwichTime from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2014
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