In Loving Memory
Realinda Farrell McCoy
On Tuesday March 3, 2009, Realinda Alana Farrell McCoy peacefully went home to be with the Lord.
She was the first daughter born to William Henry Farrell and Mary Eliza Clark on October 3, 1953, in Mary Immaculate Hospital, Jamaica, New York. Realinda was their second child. The family moved from Jamaica to their newly built home in Fresh Meadows where she attended Ryan Junior High School and Jamaica High School.
The family traveled every Sunday to attend church service in Harlem at her grandmother’s house of worship. Wyndon Memorial Church is where Realinda’s singing career began at a young age. Encouraged with opera lesson provided by her Aunt Marcell, Realinda sang in all of her high school musical productions. Having had the taste of fame, she auditioned and landed a role on her first attempt in the Broadway’s First Rock Opera musical sensation, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” She traveled the world with the musicals first touring company as one of three “Soul Girls.” She continued her Broadway career with roles in “Ain’t Mis Behavin,” “The Me Nobody Knows,” “Bubblin’ Brown Sugar” and again traveled the world and to South Africa in the musical “Hair.” During a brief rest she met fellow singers and Cathy Rich, daughter of the famed Buddy Rich. Forming a group the named “Zee,” the foursome wowed Buddy during a rehearsal. Buddy was so elated he signed the group to perform the opening act as he traveled First Class through-out Europe. After Buddy’s untimely death she continued her career, providing her voice on several commercials’ jingles and as a studio demo and background singer. She recorded her first single, entitled “Hey, Mr. Paul,” the answer record to Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones.”
Realinda and Antoine joined the Antioch Baptist Church of Corona, where she continued to praise the Lord with song. She was a founding member of the MJB Ensemble led by Branice McKensie, and a member of the Mass Choir.
Having a heart of gold she lent herself to many charitable community groups starting with the Manhattan Jaycees and their involvement with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation. The Kiwanis Club of Woodhaven and the Queens West Kiwanis sponsored the now famous “barbeque luncheons “ for the HOBY Ambassadors. An Honorary Member since 1990, she became a Distinguished Secretary of the Woodhaven Club, served as President of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond Hill Woodhaven. On several occasions Realinda represented Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center at the North Shore Hospital as she sang the Nation Anthem of the United States at Shea Stadium. Kiwanis International President invited Realinda to perform both the National Anthem of Iceland and the United States at their annual Convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loved to sing.
Realinda is preceded in death by her mother and father and her sister Diane. Cherishing her memory is her loving husband, Antoine of 37 years. She will be surly be missed by her brothers, Gregory and Billy, her sister Andrea and especially Bryana and Felicity. Two little girls whom she brought into her home, her heart and her life. She will also be missed by Jasmine, Jeffrey, Adona, Neiman, Presley, Preston and Mica; a host of other relatives, family, numerous friends and her church family.