Eleanor R. Piacenza, 93, Backed Chamber Society
Eleanor Rohn Piacenza died on May 15, four days after her 93rd birthday. A strong presence on the Island, Ms. Piacenza was a founding member of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society and a devoted archivist of her brother in law, Thomas Hart Benton.
Born in Needham in 1909, she was graduated from Wheaton College in 1930 and married James M. Worthington shortly thereafter. She had three children, James, Jules and Caroline Worthington, all of whom survive her.
After the dissolution of her marriage, she met and married Louis Piacenza, and then moved the family to Bel Air, Calif. The family barely escaped with their lives and a few precious family treasures, their dogs, Caroline's cello and two of her brother in law's paintings, from the disastrous Bel Air fire of 1962. This was mainly due to the heroic actions of Mr. Piacenza.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Piacenza returned as a full-time resident to Chilmark. Her late husband's brother, Santo Piacenza, joined the family and became a much-beloved member of the community.
She was a strong advocate in encouraging her children's talents. Recognizing her daughter's musical gift, she was tireless in making sure that she had the finest teachers and all of the opportunities to develop her gift. She was also a staunch supporter of her son Jules's career as a fine artist. Martha's Vineyard is greatly enriched by her legacy and she will be remembered in the concerts given by Caroline, now a world-respected concert cellist, and in Jules's extraordinary paintings of the moods and beauties of the Vineyard.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to her most beloved cause, the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, in care of the executive director, Nancy Rogers, P.O. Box 55, Vineyard Haven 02568.
A memorial service will be held at the Chilmark Church on Saturday, June 1, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the home of Mrs. Piacenza.