SayWhatClub Online Voices September 2015

Jazzy's obituary (1934 - 2015)

Copyright 2015


Emily Ann “Jazzy” Wingert, a longtime resident of Montclair and Little Falls, NJ, passed away suddenly on August 15th at 80 years young.

Emily was born in New York City to Babette “Betsy” (Vogel) Peierls and Edgar Peierls on November 24, 1934. She went to high school at House in the Pines in Massachusetts and graduated in 1952. She attended Cornell University and completed her degree in Art History at Columbia University in New York City.

Emily was a true leader and a force greater than any list of her incredible accomplishments. She was never afraid of a challenge and this strength made her a trailblazer for women. In the early 1970’s, as the owner and CEO of Mark Ten Security in Montclair, NJ, she became one of the first female licensed Private Detectives in NJ. In 1988 she followed her passion for Jazz and fine dining and created Trumpets, a landmark Jazz club and restaurant in Montclair. In connection with her opening of Trumpets, she received an award for the restoration of the formerly run down building. She also created a Jazz education program for children. After 10 years, she sold Trumpets due to her sudden and total hearing loss.

As an early adopter of the internet, Emily found that she could “talk” to people online and regain some of the connectivity she lost with her hearing. Her journey adjusting to her deafness led her to a burgeoning on-line discussion group known as the “Say What Club.” This organization became her new passion, and she helped lead a group of people who felt isolated into a true community. Emily began holding parties at her home to bring members together. Through her involvement and leadership in the Say What Club for over 20 years, the parties in her home ultimately became a series of annual conventions in different locations throughout the country and even internationally, which allowed the global membership of this internet-based organization to meet, connect, bond and share information. She was so passionate about this cause that she traveled to the potential convention cities to scout out the perfect venues. She found a calling in helping others turn loss and fear into independence.

Mimi, as she was lovingly known by her grandchildren, a lover of cultures and global adventures, was also the matriarch of a large family, including not only her own children but many of their friends and others in need, who looked to her confidence, humor, and vitality as a guide to a life well lived. Most people hope to have one special thing for people to remember them by, but Emily will be remembered for so many of her iconic traits. From her signature nail art, to her love of convertibles; from her taste for fine dining to her unmatched diner habit, Emily was as grounded as she was a dreamer in sequins. Emily was simply unmatched and unforgettable.

Emily is survived by her siblings: Barbara (Peierls) Cohn, E. Jeffrey Peierls, and Brian E. Peierls; children: Laura (Shelton) Jones and husband, James Jones, Edward “Woody” Shelton and wife Diane Shelton, and William “Will” Wingert; grandchildren: Derald Brenneman, Dana (Shelton) Wahrsager and husband Aaron Wahrsager, Jacqueline Brenneman and husband Krys Usack, Katherine Shelton, Samantha Brenneman, Tanya (Jones) Thompson and husband Sam Thompson, Adam Lewicki and Elizabeth Wingert; and great-grandchildren: Sadie Brenneman and Madison Wahrsager.

If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.

- Louis Armstrong

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