In memory of Amy Antonelli
Our dear friend and colleague, Amy Antonelli, died on March 23 after a valiant yearlong battle with cancer. Despite the knowledge over the past several months that there would be no good outcome, all of us who loved Amy, worked with Amy and respected Amy were not prepared for the emptiness that followed her death. We are still struggling to believe that someone so vibrant, so full of zest and adventure, is truly gone.
I first met Amy in early 2010. She quickly became my confidant, dear friend, sounding board, travel partner, moral compass and a valued and respected colleague to all of us at The Defiant Requiem Foundation. Everything we did was more fun with Amy. Her judgment, artistic sensibilities and guidance have been an invaluable asset to all of us who have worked with her. She was my biggest cheerleader and gave me the confidence to tackle the job as executive director of The Foundation.
Amy was devoted to The Defiant Requiem Foundation and was a professional partner to Murry Sidlin from the very beginning of the project. She was the secretary of the Board; provided artistic guidance and wisdom for everything we did and worked as a volunteer in the trenches with us year after year. Her enthusiasm and tireless energy were inspirational. We all loved every moment we spent with her.
As Murry Sidlin so eloquently put it, “Amy was the catcher for the pitcher, the concertmaster to the conductor, the builder to the architect, the editor to the author, the chief of staff to the CEO, the compass, moral and otherwise, to each of us who had an association with her. And yes, the pianist for the chorus.”
Her numerous artistic accomplishments are noted below in a beautiful article written by her friend and fellow chorister, Knight Kiplinger, and reprinted with the permission of The City Choir of Washington.
Amy was a beloved mother to David and Erica and a devoted grandmother to their children. Amy Solit, 19, met Morris Antonelli at summer camp and she knew from the moment she met him that she would marry him. They had an adoring and mutually dependent marriage for 52 years. As Morris remarked, “Once in love with Amy, always in love with Amy.”
Those of us who have had the privilege of being in Amy’s orbit will forever cherish our memories of her beautiful smile, her infectious laughter coupled with a slightly wicked sense of humor, her boundless energy and optimism, and the music and magic she brought to our lives. There is a Talmudic saying that “God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing.” May God receive with love Amy’s singing soul, with exquisite music playing, a great glass of white wine within reach, and the memories of a fulfilling, loving and stunning life well-lived.