Tag Archives: In Memoriam

An Unsurpassed Force of Nature at Rest : Emily Doyaga

Emily Doyaga passed away Feb 12, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer disease. Mark Doyaga, Emily’s son, announced her passing and the following arrangements:

Wake will be held Friday February 14, 3-8pm
Dahill Funeral Home
2525 65th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Funeral will be held Saturday February 15, 11:30am
St. John Cemetery
80-01 Metropolitan Avenue
Middle Village, NY 11379

In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association

Emily was an active member of Times Squares during the 1990s to the bewilderment of Mark, joining the club in 1993. She even attended the 1997 IAGSDC convention in Las Vegas. But we all loved her enthusiasm and fun-loving nature. We miss Emily very much and may she rest in peace.

Virginia Thaler in Square Dance Heaven

Our darling Gina was fatally struck by a car while crossing a street in Millburn, NJ on Monday night (26 Nov.) Our thoughts are with her husband Steve and their family.

Visitation for Virginia (Gina) Thaler is Monday December 3 at the Daniel Schaefer Funeral Home from 10:00 AM to Noon. There will be a private graveside service later in the day. Schaefer Funeral Home is located at 4123 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232.

We will also be lighting a candle in her memory at class/night Tuesday December 4 at PS3.

Here, she is pictured with a smile and her mango juice at her graduation in May.  While she was growing in confidence with the Mainstream level, she always maintained a positive attitude, and an almost perfect attendance. record. We will miss her gentleness.

Remembering “Curlique” Pauline Plummer

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Pauline Jeanette Plummer, Thursday, August 23 at 10:45pm, after a valiant fight against cancer. Our condolences to her family and friends.

She was a long time member of Times Squares, since 1988, and was responsible for the P.O.R. Boutique (Peel Off and Recycle) fundraiser for our Peel the Pumpkin fly-in for many years. She will be greatly missed, not only for her warmth and personality, but her divine outfits which she made herself. “Curlique”, dance up a storm, and rest in peace.

Funeral details:

Wake: Fri Sep 7 4-8pm
Funeral: Sat Sep 8 9am viewing ; 10 am funeral
Repast to follow.

Location: First United Methodist Church 227 E Lincoln Ave, Mount Vernon, New York 10552

Mass Transit Directions: Board a New Haven bound train, stopping at Mount Vernon East. From there it is an 11 minute walk (0.6 mile) : walk along Elm Ave, turn left onto Rich Ave for five blocks, then right onto E Lincoln Ave. Check Google Maps for more directions.

Remembrances from our members:

“For all of those who cared about Pauline and cared for Pauline. For those who danced with Pauline and paid attention to Pauline. For all those who made a fuss over Pauline and told her she was beautiful (and she was). For all of those who understood the high standards that Pauline had for dress and style. For all of those who stood behind her while she performed. God bless you all because you gave her what she needed and what she earned. Love. Respect. Friendship. Community. A special shout out to Gabriel Rivas-Brito, who always brought out the best in Pauline.” — David Kampel

“Pauline loved a party. Invite her, and she was there — always looking glam with beautifully coiffed hair, perfectly made-up, dressed to the nines. She had a standard that she always kept to.

Some years ago I hosted a party for friends of mine who were visiting from Australia. The food came from Zabars. Pauline approved. The food was served on disposable plates along with disposable glasses and eating utensils. Pauline did not approve.

With a look of disappointment at my faux pas, Pauline went into the kitchen and helped herself to a china plate, a crystal glass, and a silver fork. She helped herself to some of the food, poured herself a glass of champagne (Veuve Cliquot, which she brought to the party already chilled) then took herself over to the most comfortable seat.

Pauline was back where she belonged. Her standards were met. The party could now begin!” — Edward Sherman

“As Honky Tonk Queen Mum, I knew Pauline for many years. She was always available for absolutely anything. She was big, brash and impossible to embarrass. I’ve noticed some people reminiscing about her performance of Push De Button, which was a song I recommended to her after her magnificent Let’s Get This Party Started. She loved it and I loved watching her perform it. It is hard to believe that all of that love, energy and enthusiasm is gone … and way too soon.” — Bob Young

“She was always fun to be with and could put a smile on my face without any effort (and often lipstick, too).” — Bob Fitterman

“Pauline’s smiling face and warm hello made every event she attended always MORE enjoyable. As you all might remember, my mother, Emily, joined Times Squares dancing for several years. You all embraced her so lovingly into the TS family. But as you can imagine, sometimes it was intimidating for her, and not just because of the speed at which we used to dance. The year the convention was in Las Vegas, my mother was considering joining us. Even I was concerned about her being comfortable. Who knows, she might accidentally wander into the moonshine tip! Pauline overheard me expressing my concern, and she assured me that she would not only share a room with my mother, but that she would also keep my mother safe. And true to her word, she took my mother under her wing, and they both had a fantastic time, throughout the convention. This might have been one of the last really fun activities my mother enjoyed, before her Alzheimer’s started to affect her. Whenever I told my mother about TS events, she always asked about Pauline. I know we will all miss Pauline very much. ” — Mark Doyaga

“Leslie and I remember Pauline for her friendship, generosity and enthusiasm in everything she did, she was a wonderful ambassador for the Times Squares. We will greatly miss her at the square dance conventions, her pride in leading us in the grand march, our early morning gatherings for early bird convention registration, participating in her fabulous convention performances and costume preparations for Peel the Pumpkin. “Get the party started” was truly her theme song.” — Daniel Savitt

“As a veteran square dancer, I wish to express the loss I feel for the passing of Pauline Plummer. She was loved by many, many square dance club members. Words that come to mind that I feel would accurately describe her would be: warm, loving, abundant and cheerful amongst other traits. She always greeted everyone with a cheerful smile and hugs. A warm greeting for all was just so natural for Pauline. We will all miss her very much.” — Mario Pecunia

Some remembrances from Facebook:

“She was a wonderful kind person. May she dance for eternity with the angels.” — Heidi Auerbacher

“My heart goes out to her family, both by birth and by IAGSDC, Bob Young especially. Curlique will never be forgotten. She was loved by all, was always a pleasure to have in a square and on the Fun Badge Tour, and was a never ending source of enthusiasm and love. We will miss her terribly. Pauline: give ‘em hell in Heaven!” — Ett McAtee

“She had such a bubbly personality everytime I had the pleasure of seeing her & dancing with her in a square. I’m going to miss that!” — Ann Balint Rothfuss

“She was my inspiration when helping Erick Blakely (Mz Freeda) & directed Gary Dougan & I to coordinate a local charity for her fundraising number in PS. Such a joy to work with and dance with. She taught me all the other stuff during a Convention was meaningless…just have fun…let it go. Thank you Mz Curlicue for all of your joy & inspiration. See you on the dance floor in another realm.” — Jim Francis

“Oh no. This so sad to hear. Pauline brightened every room she came in and brightened the day of everyone she talked to. We share in the heartbreak of Times Squares members.” — Steve Johnson

“Pauline was such a lady of grace AND camp! She befriended me on the Atlanta FBT and I always looked forward to her smile and rolling laugh. Let us carry the best of her with us each day, each dance.” — Rahn Anderson

Pauline, you VIBRANT woman : poem by Jennifer Cherry

Dearest Pauline, you VIBRANT woman,
you lift us up.
With your contagious smile and joyful soul,
you lift us up.
Your effervescent laughter that fills the room,
you lift us up.
Through your free-spirited dance, ‘Curlicue’,
you lift us up.
Inspired by your impeccable style and artistic flair,
you lift us up.
Always offering a helping hand because you care,
you lift us up.
And when we’re faced with challenge, sadness, or pain,
you lift us up.
With these seven verses we’ve only just begun,
but the Lord recognized his masterpiece was done.
So as heaven’s gates open to welcome you in,
And their caller shouts “Square up”, we’ll see you grin.
We rejoice in the memories that we will treasure,
and the lesson to live each moment, for good measure.
Know that you have forever changed our lives,
touched our hearts, enhanced our minds,
your youthful energy turned back time.
With acts of kindness, selflessness, imparting wisdom along the way,
exuding confidence and resilience through your strong faith.
Pauline, you VIBRANT woman, the bells do chime,
Now let US lift YOU up this final time.

Remembering Nivia Cruz

Our friend Nivia Cruz has died. A square dancer of indomitable spirit, she brought gaiety to every occasion, and to many Times Squares events.

Born in Cuba, she was raised in Holguin, a city in the province of Oriente. As a young girl, she came to this country and met fellow Cuban Tom Alamo, with whom she had a lifelong friendship of laughing and dancing.

Nivia was a wonderful cook and an enthusiastic hostess. She loved entertaining a constant flow of friends at the weekend home in Pennsylvania she shared with her long time love, and eventual wife Nadine Posner. This home provided Nivia a platform for themed parties, cookouts, dinners and many warm memories.

When not square dancing, Nivia enjoyed dancing Salsa a few times a week. Sometimes on the same Saturday night, she would finish a Combo Dance at PS3, only to head uptown to Salsa the night away with Nadine. It can be truly said that Nivia was a party girl as she used any excuse to have one, including snow storms, hurricanes and blackouts.

Times Squares will surely miss Nivia’s generous spirit, engaging laugh and joy of living.

Skip Rognlien, founding member of Times Squares, has passed away

Skip Rognlien lived in Wheeler, Oregon. He died on April 5 and was 83 years old. He was a founding member of the club, served as its president from 1985-1986, and was a co-chair of the 1989 IAGSDC convention, Peel the Big Apple, which was held in New York City. He was also the person who first introduced the application of rhinestones to club paraphernalia.

If you would like to make a donation to a charity in his honor, Skip was particularly fond of these two non-profits: The Point Foundation (a national LGBTQ scholarship fund) and The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon.

Long time dancer, Harold Gabel, has passed away.

Memorial Service announced: The service will be 11:30, Tuesday at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel at 630 Amsterdam. The burial will follow at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY. The phone number is 516-328-1300.


A good friend and square dancer since 1991, Harold Gabel, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. We will miss him sorely.

Joe Regan Jr. shared this memory on Facebook. “Just learned that my square dance friend Harold Gabel died today. He had prostate cancer and was having many chemo and radiation treatments. He looked terrible the last time I saw him. He was such a good person and had a great relationship with Larry Phillips in DC after his partner the Episcopal Bishop died while he was at the Gathering some summers ago. We shared rooms at many fly-ins and conventions. He came to my Beth Israel events for cardiac rehab. He is a great loss.”

Harold’s neice, Rona Wynter shared her feelings also. “I was so lucky to have this wonderful strong man in my life for so long. Honestly I never met anyone that was so positive. He fought for years and always smiled and was more concerned and interested in what was going on in my life then his problems. Uncle Harold will be missed by so many. He lived a full life. That’s just the kind of guy he was. And if he’s reading Facebook, Uncle Harold we will miss you so much. It will be sad not hearing your voice anymore.”

We will post information regarding memorial services as we receive them.

Paul Berna, We Will Miss You

UPDATE: There are no calling hours. Funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to Dancers over 40 Inc., PO Box 2103, New York, NY 10101. See notice from the Harlem Valley News below.

Paul Berna, who joined Times Squares in 1990, passed away recently. He will be truly missed.

Barbara Joyce Lesko shared a wonderful memory online: “REST IN PEACE dear Paul Berna. WHEN we met in square dancing and you told me your email was WASADANCER i said but you are a (square) dancer – that was before i knew Paul had been a talented dancer on Broadway … WASLOVEDBYALL”

There is also this picture from Facebook and Paul’s comment: How many people do you know to have had their hand up Barbara Eden’s leg while digging her high heel into his shoulder? No, I’m not a perv, just giving her the support she needed. Opening of new Madison Square Garden 1968.




Harlem Valley News

July, 29, 2017

Pine Plains – Paul Harris Berna, 80, a nine year resident of Pine Plains, NY formerly of Copake and New York City died peacefully on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at his home in Pine Plains. Mr. Berna was a professional dancer and hairstylist in New York City for many years prior to his retirement.

Born November 14, 1936 in Chicago, IL he was the son of the late Victor W. and Margaret L. Groen Berna. He attended and graduated high school in Chicago and was a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute.

Paul is survived by his sister, Carolyn Williams Glomb, a niece, Dawn Nevel; dear friends, Anne and Steve Whitehouse of Copake, Anne Veteran of Millerton, Heather Thomson of North Egremont and his companion Dylan Ftera of Pine Plains and New York City and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Paul was predeceased by four siblings.


Combo dance honors Amy Marcus

In honor of club member Amy Marcus, we are doing something special at our Combo Dance on March 19. From 4:00 until 6:30 Daryl will call Advanced and Challenge as usual, but we’ve invited Amy’s friends from the Israeli folk dancing group (her other passion) to join us for food, drink, and remembering from 6:30 to 7:30. Then from 7:30 to 9:30, they will join us in dancing. Danny Pollock, another of Amy’s friends and an extraordinarily gifted dance teacher, will join Daryl on stage. We’ll dance some Mainstream and Plus, and with the help of Amy’s Israeli folkdance friends, learn a few of their dances. Mostly we’ll have a chance to spend the evening trying to recreate the kindness and joy Amy always brought to the dance floor.

Memorial Table for Amy Marcus

IMG_1137Independence Squares in Philadelphia wants to include Amy Marcus in their Memorial Table and Memorial Tip at their Fly-In, which is scheduled for April 1-3, 2016. They would like to include any photos Times Squares members have of Amy. They can be sent by email to georgev10025@yahoo.com with Subject: Amy Memorial Pix and George will pass them on.  The deadline is March 20th. Full details about the fly-in are available at IndependenceSquares.org.

Amy Marcus, we will miss you.

Amy Marcus, our beloved fellow dancer passed away early Friday morning, February 5 after a long illness. She was a kind and caring spirit, who loved dancing and being with other dancers. All of Times Squares and indeed the whole square dance world will miss her ebullient presence and passion for square dance.

Her funeral will take place Sunday, February 7 at 10:00 AM at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th Street. Burial will be at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ. She is survived by her sister Wendy and brother Philip. The family will observe Shiva at the home of Amy’s late parents, 505 Brooklawn Avenue, Roselle, NJ 07203, (908-245-4609), at the following times:
Sunday: Following the burial until 6:00 PM
Monday: 12:00-6:00 PM
Tuesday: 12:00-6:00 PM
Expressions of condolence may be sent to the address above.