The Heart of a Ballet Dancer

How would you like to meet a very fine women and learn by her example?

I’m going to tell you about this caring family women, sister, daughter, and friend. Her name was Evelyn Richman.

I met Evelyn when I was a little girl. She always wore a radiant smile that brightened every room she was in. Her optimism was contagious, and everyone who was blessed to know her felt her presence long after she left.

One of greatest lessons I gleaned from her was making the best of any circumstance. By not dwelling on the negative, she was proficient at creating positive momentum for herself and her friends.

Evelyn possessed a keen interest in tuning in to other people. (No one ever gets tired of talking about themselves). She would listen intently to what you said with an encouraging happy smile! If you had a problem she would listen, ask questions, and help you through it. This generated a magnetism that myself and many others were drawn to.

Evelyn was a huge cheerleader for me in my musical career. (For many years I worked for International Ballet companies in New York City like the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet and other companies.)

When I first mentioned what ballet company I was playing for she lit up.

She said, “as a child I studied the piano and took ballet lessons and became a wonderful ballet dancer! When I was 17, I was offered the opportunity to join the Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and continue my training.” Unfortunately, her parents would not let her join. She always loved the ballet, and found great joy in watching recitals.

Her beau, a military flier during WWII, was killed in the war. She never married. She took care of her parents until they passed away and worked for the government for many years. In retirement she donated her time volunteering at the airport, museums, and other places where needed. She was always willing to help others, listen, help them solve their problems, and make their lives better!

Evelyn shared the following story with me about her being the 3-year-old chaperone, when my Grandparents, Belle and Louis Frank were dating. She would sit between them on their date. She always smiled when she told me this story! She was a close friend to my Grandparents and my parents, Dr. Robert and Romayne Frank.

For years, Grandmother Belle took Evelyn and I out to lunch on our birthday, which we shared; November 24th! Upon Belle’s passing Evelyn and I, my husband, and another close friend of Evelyn’s, Marsha Rice, who has a November birthday too, would meet for lunch and have a party to celebrate our birthdays. Since she has been living in a retirement home, we would bring lunch, birthday cake, my fiddle and play her favorite tunes including New York, New York, which she enjoyed singing with a big smile on her face! Marsha would bring her dog, Chloe and Evelyn would enjoy patting her on the head. She loved dogs!

On Evelyn’s 80th birthday all her family and friends had a big party for her!

What lessons have we learned from Evelyn Richman?

Evelyn Richman was one of the most happy, positive, pleasant, and beautiful people I have ever known. She always cared about others, was willing to listen, ask questions, and help you think through your problems. She also loaned you a smile when you needed it and gave words of encouragement! She was a blessing to her family and friends.

So, remember to listen carefully, keep your eyes open to see what’s happening around you. When you see someone needing help, lend them yours.

Our beloved friend Evelyn Richman passed away on Saturday, January 2, 2021. She was 98 years old and was a lifelong resident of Newport News, Virginia. She was born on November 24, 1923 and had two brothers Billy and Eddie Richman. Her family and friends, were blessed to have known such a wonderful caring person who was always willing to lend a hand. She had a passion for helping her family and friends. Her legacy of kindness to others will live on!

Source by Madeline Frank

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