Davina Parmet died on March 25, 2021 at her home in Williamsburg, Va. after a courageous 10-year battle with lung cancer. She was 62.
Davina was born on July 28, 1958 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the only child of Solomon Parmet, a high-school teacher and jazz musician, and Antoinette (Marmo) Parmet, a social worker in the New York City school system. Davina spent her formative years in the city, but she fell in love with Cape Cod at an early age, spending summers at her family’s cottage near Powers Landing in Wellfleet, where she found peace and happiness throughout her life.
A gifted student, Davina graduated at 16 from Stuyvesant High School, before earning her bachelor’s degree at Brown University. At Brown, Davina met the love of her life, Paul Reagan. After graduation, Davina worked first as an editor at the Dial, a magazine for contributors to PBS stations, and later as a freelance writer. In 1992, she published her book The World of Ballet. Later in her career, Davina devoted herself to others in need. She earned a master’s in social work from the College of William and Mary and served as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for children victimized by abuse and neglect. She was named CASA Volunteer of the Year in 2005.
Davina was deeply compassionate and generous, unfailingly kind, and unwaveringly loyal to her family and friends. With her keen intellect, snarky humor, and infectious laugh, she was a trusted friend and confidant to many.
Her beloved cousins became de facto sisters when they were children, and her neighbors and playmates on Cape Cod grew into lifelong friends. Later, as a young professional and new mom in New York, and in Williamsburg, where she and her family have lived for 30 years, Davina gathered a vibrant band of friends. Over the last decade, as she fought through a seemingly endless string of surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, Davina was always there for her friends — to lend an ear and a shoulder, plus a cup of tea, a scone, or her famous homemade caramels.
Davina’s greatest joy was her family. She was a devoted mother and wife, and a constant source of care packages, baked goods, and daily reminders, large and small, of her love.
She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Paul Reagan; her daughters, Lianna Parmet Reagan and husband Sundeep Iyer, and Sasha Parmet Reagan and partner Will Tarnell. She is also survived by her granddaughter, Priya Reagan Iyer, who was born one month before Davina’s death, and whom Davina was able to hold in her arms.
A viewing with no service will be held at Nelsen Funeral Home in Williamsburg, Va. on Saturday, April 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. The family will also hold two memorials at Covid-safer dates — one in Williamsburg in the middle of May, and a second in Wellfleet in June. Memorial donations in Davina’s name may be made to Fair Fight, the Cape Wellness Collaborative, and the True and Faithful Pet Rescue Mission.