Jean D. Longenecker, 89, a talented musician and resident of Brethren Village Retirement Community, died February 14, 2015 at Lancaster General Hospital, as the result of a stroke. Born in York, she was the daughter of the late William S. Doerflein, Sr. and Idabel Lucking Doerflein.
A gifted pianist, in her childhood she practiced by trying to copy the player piano in a home where she babysat. Jean was a graduate of York High School and for her commencement in 1947 from West Chester State Teachers College (West Chester University) she was selected by the music department to perform the Grieg Piano Concerto with the college orchestra.
She lived in Woodstock, VA for two years, where she was a piano teacher and filled a position as a church organist before she married the late Richard E. Longenecker and moved to Clay. In 1957 they moved with their two small children to East Petersburg, where she lived until she moved to Brethren Village.
A member of the Lititz Church of the Brethren, she worked at Fulton Bank and was an organist for Penryn Lutheran Church and Hempfield Church of the Brethren. As an accompanist, private instructor and a music teacher at the Terre Hill and Caernarvon Elementary Schools, Jean was able to share her love for music with others.
In addition to the piano, Jean played the organ and as a child she played the violin. She was happiest when entertaining friends and family on the piano, seamlessly mixing her classical repertoire, particularly Chopin, with hymns, show tunes and popular songs, all from memory.
She is survived by two sons, Stephen L., husband of Ada Fridley Longenecker, Harrisonburg, VA; William E., husband of Betsy Bomberger Longenecker, Lititz; six grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1972, and a brother, William S. Doerflein, Jr. (1998).
Funeral Services will be held at Brethren Village in the Wolfe Auditorium, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, on Sunday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m., with a viewing from 1 to 2 p.m.
In memory of Jean, her family requests donations may be made to the Lititz Church of the Brethren, 300 W. Orange St., Lititz, PA 17543.
To send online condolences to her family, please visit: www.richardheiseyfuneralhome.com
A living tribute »