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Farewell to Longtime NYFWA Member Claudia Deutsch

It is with great sadness that we report that longtime and beloved NYFWA member Claudia Deutsch lost her battle with esophageal cancer on January 13, 2022.

Claudia joined the New York Financial Writers' Association in 1979, just four years after the organization first began allowing women to become members. She has been an integral part of the membership since then. Despite her inability to sing ("well," at least, as she herself would always joke), Claudia proudly participated in countless Financial Follies. You could still hear her bragging about her portrayal of a female general in the 1997 show up until the time of her death. (Though a bit choppy from its conversion from VHS to MP3 format, that performance can be seen here around the 14:40 mark: 1997 Financial Follies - YouTube). And when the Follies switched to an all-video format, she was once again at the center of the action, hamming it up in the opening number of the 2020 Financial Follies (you can check that show out here: NYFWA 2020 Virtual Financial Follies - YouTube).

Claudia served as the NYFWA's 1997 president and remained an active participant in NYFWA events even after leaving the board. In 2013, she graciously re-joined the board of governors and remained an active participant until the very end. And, as anyone who has ever attended a drinks night or any other in-person NYFWA gathering knows, Claudia was a fixture at social gatherings, effortless chatting away with anyone and everyone about a myriad of topics.

To say that Claudia will be missed would the understatement of a lifetime. Though she is no longer with us, Cladia, like several of our multi-generational members, has left a lasting impression on the NYFWA that will keep her permanently ensconced at the heart of the NYFWA. Rest in peace dear friend.

You can access Claudia's obituary from the New York Times here

Given Claudia's longtime involvement with the NYFWA and her outgoing personality, there has been no shortage of memories passed along by members.

Following are a few thoughts that members have shared regarding their memories of Claudia:

"Claudia Deutsch was a very special person. She was a dedicated journalist, a devoted daughter, an avid tennis player and a good friend. But above all, she was a true presence. Whether it was a packed ballroom, a crowded reception, a board meeting, a small dinner party or a one-on-one interview, you knew she was there. 

She cared about what she was doing and who she was with. She was a determined reporter and did not suffer fools lightly, whether dealing with a puffed-up corporate titan or a thin-skinned editor. She always thought about her readers and was determined to give them the straight story.

Claudia was proud to be in the news business and she believed in giving back. She made a special contribution as an outspoken member, officer and president of the New York Financial Writers' Association. She starred for many years in the Financial Follies. She was the first to admit that she wasn't a very good singer, but boy could she dance. She then spent a second round of service as a governor, even attending a board meeting just a few weeks before her passing. 

She amazed everyone by how bravely she lived and relished her last months, even while she knew her time was limited. It may be a cliche to say that someone who dies "will be missed," but in Claudia's case it's hugely appropriate -- with a loud roll of the drums."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   -- Myron Kandel

"Claudia was one of the first people I met when I joined NYFWA 40 years ago this summer. I remember vividly how she skillfully sang a satirical version of 'Supercalifraglistic…' at that year’s Follies about the Latin American countries’ ever-mounting debt. At one of the first pre-rehearsal dinners that year, I remember Claudia talking about how she flew early in the morning to Bermuda and back home in time for bed. I had never thought of that. I recently mentioned that to my wife about our doing a similar day trip one day. Claudia was also a great professional, having interacted with her many times during her years at The Times. She offered sound career advice too and was a great leader of our organization, having served on her Board."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Tom Mariam

"A very special person. A stalwart for the NYFWA and a good friend to me and many others."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     --Daniel Bases

"Claudia was an extraordinary person and first-rate journalist of great character, with an enormous zest for life. To me, she represents the best of our profession. I'll always remember our talks on the way home after board meetings. I'm so glad she was able to join us in December and she looked so happy to be there with us! Thank you Claudia for all you did for us, the NYFWA and our profession! "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         --Greg Miles

"I am privileged to have been touched by her zeal, her spirit, and her joie de vivre; I am a better man for it. She is now charging forward into her new chapter with the same zest that propelled her through her life among us. I hope Heaven is ready."           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --Matthew Nelko

"Our Claudia was a game ol' gal, and her 'leadership by example' will be greatly missed."   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   --Michael Hayes