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Nonie (Elaine Lane) Phipps was supremely elegant, well bred and had an innate appreciation of music although not a musician herself. Her grandparents, John S. Phipps and Margarita Cecelia Grace Phipps joined fortunes from Carnegie Steel and the Grace Shipping Line. She was the daughter of the Polo champion Michael Grace Phipps and the heiress Muriel P. Lane.

Nonie grew up in a magnificent home in Old Westbury New York which today has become a museum___Old Westbury Gardens. Her family also maintained a legendary estate in Palm Beach Florida. She was educated in the best schools which included Foxcroft, an all girls boarding and day school in Middleburg Virginia. After finishing her education she lived in France and Spain for lengthy periods.

Old Westbury Gardens
Tom with Giulietta Simionato and Nonie
Photograph courtesy of Private Collector


At noon on April 17, 1965 in Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Manhattan, Tom and Nonie were married. She was 26 years old and he was 35. Tom’s Best Man was Earl McGrath. The bride was given away by her father and attended by Mrs. Frederick A. Melhado. Nonie had become a Roman Catholic some time earlier and had taken the name of Alexandra at her Baptism. Following a small reception at the home of Mrs. John Fell the couple left for West Berlin where Tom conducted the Philharmonic.

After having been married only eight years, Nonie passed away in January 1973 from cancer. Tom never married again.



Nonie and Tom leaving Corpus Christi Church following the ceremony
Nonie photographed at the Schippers home in Cincinnati

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