Joyce Elaine Wright Brophy of Moreland Hills, Ohio, passed away August 25, 2018. She lived 85 happy, meaningful, and loving years. She was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, Jere Hall Brophy; and her parents, Clarence John Wright and Bernice Irene Davis Wright, of East Lansing, MI. She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Brophy Paduan (Jeffrey Dean Paduan) of Monterey, CA; daughter, Carolyn Brophy Wojciechowicz (Michael Thomas “Tim” Wojciechowicz) of Princeton Junction, NJ; and her son Jere Wright Brophy (Lynne Hagen Brophy) of Waitsfield, VT. Family was immensely important to Elaine and her grandchildren, Kristyn Wojciechowicz MacMillin (Brian Edward MacMillin) of Arlington, MA; Rebecca Elayne Wojciechowicz of Somerville, MA; Matthew Taylor Wojciechowicz of Princeton Junction, NJ; and Julia Kathryn and Nathaniel “Nate” Hagen Brophy of Waitsfield, VT, were very dear to her.
Elaine was born November 28, 1932 in Lansing, MI, graduated from East Lansing High School in 1950, and from Smith College in Northampton, MA, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1954. In 1956 she earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan. Elaine was active with many bands through high school and college and she fondly remembered traveling to Japan after high school and to Korea after college to play for the military troops stationed there. She made lifelong friends through her musical activities, but, none more lasting and impactful than her husband Jere. They met while they both were musicians in the University of Michigan Symphony Band, and Elaine and Jere were married on August 18, 1956 in East Lansing, MI. After starting married life in Bedford, MA, Elaine and Jere moved to Suffern, NY, where, from 1963 to 1982, they lived and raised their three children. A job relocation brought them to Moreland Hills, OH, in 1982. The family retains deep roots in the New York State Adirondack Mountains at the cabin called Camp on the shores of Sacandaga Lake in Lake Pleasant, NY.
Music was one of Elaine’s passions and she pursued it in many ways throughout her life. She was a church organist and choir director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bedford, MA, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Spring Valley, NY. Additionally, she was a choir member at Christ Church, Suffern, NY, and St. Martin’s Church, Chagrin Falls, OH. For more than 50 years, Elaine taught music in the schools of Bedford, Suffern, and the east side of Cleveland; was a private music teacher of clarinet and saxophone; performed with many ensembles, among them the MIT Choral Society (MA); the Suburban Symphony (Rockland County, NY), the Chagrin Valley Chamber Orchestra (OH), The Shaker Symphony Orchestra (OH); The Cleveland Women’s Orchestra (OH); Solon Philharmonic Orchestra (OH), The Singers’ Club of Cleveland Women’s Chorus (OH); and The Pretty Good Band (Speculator, NY). She shared her love of music with family and friends and a highlight of the year was her hosting of Christmas Caroling Parties to sing through the neighborhood. Elaine also was a dedicated congregant of the Church of the Transfiguration, Blue Mountain Lake, NY.
An avid gardener, Elaine kept beautiful gardens at her homes and brought joy to others through work with the Ramapo Valley Garden Club and the Speculator Garden Club, where her particular focus was beautification of public spaces in her hometowns to benefit the aged, infirm, or the casual passerby. Additionally, Elaine was passionate about the environment and supported efforts locally and nationwide to protect flora and fauna. Most recently she served as a Board Member of the Lake Pleasant Sacandaga Association, spearheading an effort to educate the public about invasive species in the lakes of the Adirondacks. Elaine enjoyed the woods, lakes, and mountains, and found peace, joy, and rejuvenation in wild places. Things like the call of a loon, the buzz of a hummingbird, the lapping of waves, bright stars in the sky, dew drops on a spider web, sweeping mountain vistas, tiny moss pillows, the scent of lilacs, a glimpse of wildlife, the geometry of snowflakes, and a silent lake paddle all are reminders of her love of the outdoors: “All Things Bright and Beautiful”.
Educating young women through girl scouting was important to Elaine and she led her troop in Suffern, NY, long after her own daughters graduated out of girl scouting. She empowered her charges to get out in nature and test themselves in the wilderness, to master lifelong skills, and to be kind and helpful to others. Recreational and competitive sailing was also a hobby of Elaine and Jere’s, and they were active in the Nyack Boat Club on the Hudson River, Nyack, NY, and Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH.
Above all, Elaine was kind, generous, and giving, always putting others ahead of herself. She was a master of the personal hand-written note. She looked for ways to roll up her sleeves and lend a hand. She cared about the future and did what she could to make it a better place. And, most of all, she loved her family. We will miss her smile, her can-do attitude, her selfless example, and her wise counsel.
Elaine lived the last 10 years in and out of remission from two cancers. We are grateful to the Cleveland Clinic, Kendal at Home, and Hospice of the Western Reserve for their thoughtful, professional, and tender care up until the very end.
Memorial services in Chagrin Falls, OH, and the Adirondacks in NY State will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in the name of Elaine may be made to the following (please write “In memory of Elaine Brophy” in the memo line):
The Adirondack Mountain Club Summit Stewards Program: 814 Goggins Road, Lake George, NY 12845; www.adk.org
The Church of the Transfiguration: c/o Kathy Duffendack, 885 Deerland Road, Long Lake, NY 12847; please add “Garden Fund” in the memo line; http://www.transfigurationbluemountain.org
Fowler Camp and Retreat Center: 1790 Grand Blvd, Schenectady, NY 12309; www.campfowler.org
Smith College: Gift Accounting, Smith College, 23 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063; https://www.smith.edu/give; please add “Music Department” in the memo line
University of Michigan: c/o Eric Schramm, Office of University Development, 3003 South State Street, Suite 9000, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1288; please write “The Dorothy Hall, Jere Hall, and Elaine Wright Brophy Scholarship Fund” on the memo line.
Both of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
All of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
95 South Franklin Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Our prominence in the Protestant community and involvement in the Masonic and Eastern Star orders gives us the ability to serve the Greater Cleveland area with attention to detail and personal service.