Obituary of Elaine Wright Burley
Elaine Wright Burley, 93, of Ashburn VA, passed away on Friday September 23 at home in Ashby Ponds surrounded by family.
The daughter of Shirley and Esther Wright, Elaine grew up in Oneonta and Hartwick NY. She adored her older brother Leonard and loved spending time with her grandparents who lived nearby. A dedicated student of piano, she went on to study music first at Fredonia University and then at Hartwick College, following her graduation from Hartwick High School.
A graduate of Hartwick College, Elaine went on to work as a music therapist and an elementary school teacher. She gave private piano lessons for many years while raising her three children. She and Bruce, her husband of over 60 years, raised their family primarily in Dutchess County NY. During those years Elaine was an active member of Freedom Plains Presbyterian Church where she sang in the choir, played in the bell choir, and held leadership positions. She was a library volunteer, helping to establish the public library in the town of La Grange and was a poll worker during elections. She and Bruce loved square dancing and were active members of local square dance clubs.
Elaine and Bruce retired to the shores of Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina where they built their dream home. It was an oasis that their family and friends loved to visit. Once again Elaine got involved in a local church, singing in the choir, and participating in the quilting group. Square dancing, long walks, gardening, baking, sewing and chair exercise classes were important parts of her weekly routine.
An expert seamstress and gifted at many types of needle work and crafts, Elaine’s family cherishes the many handmade treasures she left behind; in addition to her recipes for homemade molasses cookies, sugar nut drops and home-made doughnuts.
In 2018 Elaine and Bruce moved to Ashburn VA to be closer to their daughter. Bruce pre-deceased Elaine that same year. Despite pandemic challenges, Elaine was blessed to have many visits from her children and grandchildren during her time in VA. She spent the past two years in Maple Grove Assisted living at Ashby Ponds, where her kindness, laughter and good humor endeared her to the wonderful staff and residents.
Elaine is survived by her children Ruth (David), William (Lorayne), Philip (Jennifer) and 10 grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Leonard’s wife, Lillie Mae, his two children Patricia (Pete) and Alan; as well as cousins and grand-nephews and many others who cherished her friendship and beautiful smile.