Photo of Michelle Newman
Michelle Newman

Obituary of Michelle Newman

September 7, 2022

Michelle Newman was born on March 30, 1969, and died far too soon at the age of 53 on September 7, 2022 after a fierce battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  She is predeceased by   her parents, Susan and Larry Newman.  She is survived by her siblings Melissa and Brad Newman, as well as countless close friends she considered family.   Michelle, also known as “Newman, Newmie, Aunt Newmie, Shelley…the list goes on….” had a quick wit, keen intelligence and an incredibly kind and generous spirit. Her empathy knew no bounds.

Michelle was born at Marin General Hospital and lived in San Rafael, CA, then moved to Hanover Park, IL until the age of 9, when the family relocated to Ridgewood, NJ.  In Ridgewood she met many of her friends she would have for the rest of her life.  She graduated from RHS in 1987 and attended the Catholic University of America, graduating in 1991 with a BA in English.  From there, she lived with friends from high school and college in Washington DC and worked at the VA hospital.

Her creative spirit required a change and in 1994 she moved to New York City to work at Rolling Stone Magazine as Marketing Manager. Starting a career and living in New York City required additional income, and she waitressed weekends for a while at The Saloon in Lincoln Center and moonlighted by doing presentations for Ernst and Young.  It was at this time that she professionally blossomed and came into her own as an incredibly talented and self-taught graphic artist.

She began her career designing printed materials such as brochures and media kits which led to animation and video editing and then ultimately to creating complex animations and beautiful motion graphics. It was to no one’s surprise that Michelle would use her energy to start her own business, Moving Target Design, in the late 90’s. Michelle always went above and beyond the project scope and pushed boundaries on nail-biting deadlines, which always resulted in over delivering and extremely happy clients, some of whom she worked with her entire career. In spite of the demands of her work, she continued to share her creativity with her friends and designed original wedding invitations and baby announcements in her ‘spare time’ that were works of art in themselves.

Michelle was curious about the world around her and loved to learn more about it. She was filled with wanderlust and the map is dotted with places that Michelle visited. She was a voracious reader and often ended the day reading a good book late into the night. Newmie loved words and correct grammar, and appreciated the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.  And no matter the situation she could pull out the most random, but absolutely perfect, colloquialism. Her humor was that balance of silly and sublime–and her laughter and smile could light up a room. And she was gifted with the memory of an elephant that allowed her to pepper her stories with the smallest, though most crucial of details that no one else remembered at all!

When it came down to it though, Michelle’s family and friends were the most important things in her life.  Michelle collected friends in every phase of her life, from grade school through her adult life and retained them unwaveringly.  She was invested in their well being, their families, their accomplishments and supported them unconditionally.  Her hugs could recharge the most weary of friends. She never hesitated picking up the phone to catch up or check in on a friend. She was the kin keeper and the thread connecting a large network of friends that spanned decades.  As a result, she was surrounded by devoted and loving family and friends when she left this world and they are counting on her to watch over them.

Staying right on brand, Michelle threw everything she had towards defeating her disease, including her never ending sense of humor and an abundance of optimism, but she had a refractory subtype of AML that was resistant to all treatments despite the efforts of modern medicine and the skilled and compassionate care she received from Weill Cornell Hospital.

Michelle enriched the lives of so many and inspired us to be better people just by her being herself. The world will be a whole lot less creative and entertaining without her in it.  Rest in peace our beloved Newmie.

If you would like to honor Michelle, please consider a donation to one of the causes she held close to her heart:  Cycle for Survival, National Parkinson Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or your local ASPCA. You may also want to consider donating your blood or platelets.  Michelle benefited immensely from these products during her illness and we know she would have liked to give back.

Details for a celebration of Michelle’s life will be shared in the near future.

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