Eleanor Benoist Linley, musician and teacher, died peacefully at home in Locust after a long illness, on June 15, surrounded by her family. She was 86.
Through her lifelong ministry as a church organist and choir director, concert pianist and teacher of music and German, Eleanor enriched countless lives. She commenced her service as a liturgical musician at age 12 and went on to become organist and choir director at the Episcopal Churches of St. James, Long Branch; Christ Church, Shrewsbury; The Church of the Resurrection, Elizabeth; St. Edward the Martyr, NYC; All Saints’ Memorial, Navesink, and St. Mark’s, Keansburg.
As a concert pianist, Eleanor made her New York debut with her long time duo piano partner Herbert Burtis at Steinway Hall. She performed in Carnegie Recital Hall; the Library Concerts at the House of the Redeemer; St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University; Montclair State University and Harvard and was frequently heard in concert programs throughout the tri-state area. Linley co-founded the Candlelight Concerts at All Saints’ Memorial Church and served as accompanist for the Shrewsbury Chorale. She was a member of the Canterbury Choral Society, NYC.
Throughout her 40-plus years as an educator (Monmouth Regional and Metuchen High School), Eleanor inspired hundreds of students in school, on stage and in life. Upon her retirement, she became a Literacy Volunteer. From the classroom to the organ bench, Eleanor generously shared her gift for music.
She was predeceased by her husband, The Rev. Herbert L. Linley. She is survived by her daughters, Andrée Benoist and her husband, Joseph Colquhoun of Atlantic Highlands, and Alicia Benoist and her husband, Russell Dian of New York City; and three grandsons, Michael Hagan of Brooklyn, Peter Hagan and his wife, Carrie, of Alexandria, Virginia, and Christopher Hagan of Navesink.
Memorial donations may be made to All Saints’ Memorial Church, 202 Navesink Ave., Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716.
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