I’ve had some off-list contacts with Neil over the years. I’d go so
far as to say we became friends, without ever meeting. Lately I’ve
noticed his absence here on Orchid, and thought I’d pop him a note
to see if everything is OK. So, I Googled and what I got was this:
Sad to say. Now, it’s a fact that it ~could~ be a different Neil. No
family member called me and told me, and I am profoundly sorry if
somehow Iam misguided.
But he was in Darien, his store was called “Neil the Jeweler”, and
his wesite is closed, too.
Neil MacArthur Pennell, 57, downtown’s ‘Neil the Jeweler’
Neil MacArthur Pennell of South Salem, N.Y., known in downtown
Darien as “Neil the Jeweler,” died Friday, Feb. 25, in South Salem.
He was 57.
Born May 26, 1953, in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was the son of the
late Arthur Pennell and Hannalore Thomsen.
Mr. Pennell graduated from Darien High School in 1971. He was owner
of Neil the Jeweler, which is downtown, just off the Post Road.
Mr. Pennell’s original Darien jewelry shop was in Goodwives Shopping
Center but high rents forced him to close. He moved to Florida for a
while before returning after a friend found the 10’ by 14’ space off
the Post Road, behind the Helen Ainsen Shoppe. He called it “the
best spot I have ever had,” in a 2007 interview with The Darien
“Over 30 years ago, I worked with my hands, restoring in Wilton the
home of actress June Havoc,” Mr. Pennell said in that 2007 interview
with Lou Volpicelli. “I learned early that my hands were not
qualified to do such manual labor so I decided to use my hands in a
different way. I was and still am fascinated by tinkering with
jewelry. So, for the past 30 years, I practiced my art as a
He is survived by his three children, Christine Pennell of
Arlington, Va., Cynthia Pennell of Danbury and Brien Pennell of
Norwalk; two brothers, Hans Pennell and Norman Pennell of Beaverton,
A private service was held for family members at the Edward Lawrence
Funeral Home in Darien on Tuesday, March 1, with the Rev.
Christopher P. Leighton of St. Paul’s Church in Darien presiding.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 5
Brookside Drive, PO Box 5022, Wallingford, CT 06492.