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Author/Concert Producer Joy Lona Parnes Dead At Age 96

Joy Lona Parnes

Posted Friday, October 5, 2018 - 4:03 pm

By John L. Seitz

Longtime Beverly Hills resident Joy Lona Parnes, author/playwright/concert producer, died from Alzheimer’s on Sept. 9 at age 96.

Born in Chicago on Nov. 19, 1921 and after coming to Los Angeles 15 years later, she graduated from Hollywood High School and attended UCLA, where she launched her writing career with the Daily Bruin, the school newspaper, She then became the women’s page editor of the Compton Herald and later wrote articles for a number of publications including the Christian Science Monitor, as well as composing a number of short stories and poems.

She married her husband of 45 years, concert manager Irwin Parnes, and began publicizing his concerts, including series presented at Beverly Hills High School and El Rodeo.

Famed stars such as Shirley Jones, Ed Asner, Lew Ayres, Edward G. Robinson, Greer Garson, and Ruby Keeler narrated the scripts she wrote for Irwin Parnes’ annual International Folk Dance Festival.

For four years, Joy Parnes took over the management of the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University)’s concert series, and produced two international folk dance festivals there.

She wrote two plays, one about Robert Burns and the other on Edgar Alan Poe, both of which Irwin Parnes produced.

Burial was at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills.

She is survived by her son, Samuel Parnes of Beverly Hills.

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