Elizabeth Phalen Chauncey – Shelburne

Elizabeth Phalen Chauncey died on Oct. 16, 2013, at The Arbors at Shelburne Senior Living in Shelburne, at the age of 101. She was born June 15, 1912, in Hingham, Mass., to Paul Stephens and Charlotte Robertson Phalen. At the age of three months, she moved with her family to Augusta, Maine, where her father was the minister at the Unitarian Church. She spent her childhood in Augusta, where her brother, Leslie, was born. It was during this time that her family first began to spend their summers at Prospect Harbor, Maine, buying a cottage there in 1919. At age nine, she moved with her family to West Newton, Mass., where she attended The Miss Allen School for girls. She also studied violin with Miss Elizabeth Fyffe at the All Newton Music School. In 1928, playing for Mr. Frank Damrosch, she was awarded a scholarship to the Institute of Musical Art of the Juilliard School. In New York City, she lived in the Parnassus Club for women and attended Juilliard, studying under Louis J. Bostelmann. In her second year at Julliard, while living at the Three Arts Club, she was introduced to Henry Chauncey, an assistant Dean at Harvard University. They were engaged in February 1932 and were married in West Newton, Mass., on June 6, 1932. The couple lived in several locations in the Cambridge area where their four children were born. In 1945, the family moved to Princeton, N.J., where her husband was the founding President of the Educational Testing Service. They were divorced in 1953. That year, she lived in Bar Harbor and worked at the Jackson Laboratory. The following year, she moved to Newtown, Pa., where she lived for six years and worked for the American Cancer Society, while playing in the Bucks County Symphony, the Delaware Valley Orchestra, and raising her two younger children. In 1960, she moved to New England where she could assist her mother and her beloved aunt, Emma G. Sleeper. During this time, she taught violin and played in the Dartmouth College Orchestra, the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. In the summertime, she also played in the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock, Maine. In 1968, she moved to Prospect Harbor where she had summered throughout her life. Here she lived in and winterized Joy Cottage, an early Cape Cod house on Lighthouse Point Road – the house purchased by her parents in 1919. She played in the Bangor Symphony, continued to teach music, and participated in community activities in Prospect Harbor until 1996, when she moved to Vermont to be closer to her daughter, Ann Chauncey. In addition to her daughter, who now resides in St. Thomas, V.I., she is survived by her sons, William E. Chauncey of Westwood, Mass., Sam Chauncey of New Haven, Conn., and Donald R. Chauncey of Oak Park, Ill.; 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

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