HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The mother of Billy Joel passed away this past weekend at the age of 92.
Rosalind Nyman Joel was born Feb. 15, 1922 in Brooklyn, to English immigrants Philip and Rebecca Nyman, according to an obituary on Billy Joel’s website.
She met her future husband, German immigrant Howard Joel, in a 1942 musical production at City College of New York. Howard Joel had to leave to serve in the U.S. Army World War II, but he returned and they married in 1946, the obituary said.
William Martin Joel, known today as Billy Joel, was born in May 1949. The family later adopted the Judy, the daughter of Rosalind Joel’s late sister, Muriel.
Rosalind and Howard Joel divorced in 1957, and she did clerical work near the family home in Hicksville, Long Island as a single mother, the obituary said.
The obituary credited Rosalind Joel’s support of her son’s musical education with sending him to stardom as a singer-songwriter. His 1978 song “Rosalinda’s Eyes” was intended as a tribute to her.
Rosalind Nyman Joel died Sunday. She was survived by Billy Joel, as well as her daughter, Judy Molinari; her sister, Bertha; and her granddaughters Alexa Ray Joel and Rebecca Molinari Gehrkin.
Billy Joel is presently on tour, and was set to appear at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Thursday, according to a published report.
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