LONG ISLAND, NY — Carolyn Pulis passed away at home in Westbury, Long Island, N.Y. on Nov. 3, with loving family by her side.
Her life of 61 years was greatly enriched by her love of music and dance. She received a BA in Music at Queens College with a concentration in piano and singing. Due to life circumstances, formal music education came later in life. As a member of the George Tomov Dance Ensemble, she performed Balkan dances in Europe, Carnegie Hall and Riverside Church. Passionate about Scandinavian music and dance, she was a cherished member of that community in the US and in Sweden as both fiddler and dancer for over twenty-five years.
After spinal surgery at Johns Hopkins in 2006, she worked relentlessly to relearn how to walk and dance. Her courage and determination inspired musician Bruce Sagan to compose a tune called "Get Well Carolyn" in her honor. It is played internationally, with many variations, and will now be called "Carolyn's Tune." No longer able to dance Carolyn joined the orchestral program at the Diller-Quaile Music School, in Manhattan, playing first violin. Over the past year, she studied violin under Soovin Kim's doctoral student. In spite of suffering a progressive debilitating illness over 6 years, she lived as fully as she could at each stage of her illness and was remarkable in her ability to live in the moment.
She worked at the New York Philharmonic as Human Resources Administrator, and more recently, at Morgan Stanley as Executive Assistant until she became disabled in 2006.
Spending time with family and friends brought love and joy to her life. Nieces and nephews were encouraged and supported by her and they knew how much she loved them. Often she traveled to Europe, enjoying music, dance, hiking, canoeing and fishing in remotely beautiful villages of Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Austria and Italy. Uniquely beautiful inside and out, she was enthusiastic, courageous, and devoted to the people and things she loved. Carolyn touched many lives in ways we will always remember. She will be greatly missed.
She is survived by: her sister Penny Neyenhouse and husband Charles of Peru, N.Y.; brother Peter Pulis and companion Marjorie Achtel of Queens, N.Y.; brother Samuel Pulis and wife Barbara of Westbury, NY; sister Thelma Mills and husband Dick of Hollis, N.H.; niece Catherine Neyenhouse and daughter Morgan of Plattsburgh, N.Y.; nephew Sammy Pulis, wife Holly and their children Sammy V and Arianna of Westbury, N.Y.; niece Demaris Salady and husband John of Chicago, Il; step-sister, Corinne Jeziorski and husband Bob their children Michael and Jennifer and husband Grant and grandchildren of East Meadow, N.Y.; step-sister, Doris Egan and husband Richie and their daughters Jeannie and Marion of Glen Cove, N.Y. She was predeceased by her father Samuel Pulis and her mother Thelma Pulis Eichler and step-father Herman Eichler.
A service to celebrate her life was held at the Plainview Reformed Church in Plainview, N.Y., where a procession of Scandinavian fiddlers led the immediate family into the church service. Following the service, friends and family gathered at her home where they enjoyed Swedish music and dance and reflections on her life. Donations in her memory may be made to the Fresh Air Fund or the Diller-Quaile Music School. Condolences can be made online at the New York Times or Newsday.