Emily (Heinicke) Githens, 93, died on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. Born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, she studied the organ under Claude Means at the Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich and was an assistant piano teacher at the Greenwich Academy for about 4 years. In her early twenties she studied piano under Alton Jones at the Juilliard School of Music and organ under Dr. Noble of St. Thomas Church (NYC). A member of the class of 1945, she also studied at the Union Theological Seminary, School of Sacred Music in New York City.
In 1941 at the age of twenty-one she became the organist and choirmaster of St. Luke's Lutheran Church at 308 West 46th Street, New York, NY. During this same period, she was selected to be a member of the Officer Service Committee in New York City and acted as a hostess at weekly Saturday night or Sunday tea dances for military officers. It was at one of these dances in 1945 that she met her future husband, Lt. Ray F. Githens. They married on VJ Day (August 15, 1945), had three children, and were happily married for 59-1/2 years until his death in February 2005.
As a result of Ray's career as an insurance executive with Prudential, the family criss-crossed the USA, moving to Toledo, Morristown (NJ), and Minneapolis. Eventually, they settled down for many years in Summit and then Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In the summer of 2004 the couple permanently moved to Naples, Florida where they resided at the Arbor Trace Retirement Community.
A lover of the arts, Emily was also an avid reader, an accomplished seamstress, a devotee of word jumbles and crossword puzzles, and a willing volunteer in charitable organizations. She loved playing golf and bridge as well as dabbling with watercolors. Quiet, elegant, and dedicated to her family, she set a high standard for all those around her. Her lemon chiffon pie, lebkuchen and spritz cookies made the holidays extra special and will be sorely missed by her children.
She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Crocker (Stephen) of Denver, CO; son, Ray F. Githens, Jr., of West Berlin, NJ; daughter, Linda Kay Githens of Naples, FL and Martinez, CA; and grandson, John P. Crocker, of New York City.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Serving Our Seniors, S.O.S., P.O. Box 12071, Naples FL 34101 or to the AVOW Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105.