Elsie Whiteside's Legacy

Elsie graduated from Greenwich High School and attended the prestigious Crane School of Music at the State University of Potsdam. Her lifelong connection to music made her perhaps perfectly suited to sharing her gifts throughout our community and beyond. Elsie played for various groups throughout her career--the Albany Symphony, the Schenectady Symphony, the Berkshire Symphony of Williamstown... and many others. There is no doubt that her gifts were spread widely, but within Greenwich, New York, it could be argued that she laid the foundation of music for a generation. What became apparent and palpable during her memorial service is that her legacy still lives on today.
During the service, a young man came forward to deliver his tribute to Mrs. Whiteside. As it turns out, Nicholas Henderson was Elsie's first violin student. Clearly moved by the loss of his mentor, Nicholas was able to beautifully describe how his connection to the Whiteside family had shaped his life. He spoke with eloquence about the selflessness of the family and how Elsie's patient guidance and in some cases, persistent prodding gave him the confidence to face many challenges in music and in life. Others spoke, too, and sang.         Mitch and Bob Warren played Amazing Grace, but it was Mitch's spoken tribute that clearly rang out and demonstrated the gifts of Mrs. Whiteside's influence. Memories were shared by those who recalled Elsie's influence within the church, as well.
Probably the most striking lifelong project was Elsie's involvement as the choir director for the United Church--a commitment of 21 years. The choir consisted of children and adults and memberships became so large that the choir loft had to be doubled in size. Her Christmas candlelight cantatas were always performed for a packed church. Many singers came from other local churches, and many times consisted of as many as 50 voices.
It is the voices of the past and present that perhaps can be and will be remembered for all of us. For Elsie,  these voices sing a song of service to community, family and individuals. A life lived fully, with love and music close to her heart and the hearts of those who knew her.

Elsie is survived by her husband of 62 years, Edward, three children: Dean of Greenwich; Peter of Woodbridge, Virginia; and Kathryn Niles and her husband, Lyle of Easton; three grandchildren: Jeremy Wolff, Brady Wolff, and Jessica Weber and four great grandchildren, all of Easton.