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Charles Reifsnyder(1918 - 2014)

Charles Luther Reifsnyder

Charles Reifsnyder passed away on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at the Emeritus Fox River Living Facility in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is survived by his son Bob Reifsnyder and his daughter-in-law Jane Bradshaw Finch of Appleton, his granddaughter Anne Reifsnyder of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and two grandsons, Michael Reifsnyder of Omaha, Nebraska and Tom Reifsnyder, currently stationed with the U.S. Navy in Sasebo, Japan.

Mr. Reifsnyder was born in Bomansville, Pennsylvania and graduated from New Holland High School, where he met his future wife Irene Pennington, who preceded him in death two years ago. He first attended the Ernest Williams School of Music in Brooklyn, New York and later graduated from New York University with a Bachelors and Masters degree, as well as arriving at the ABD level toward a Doctorate. He served as an Army Bandsman in an armored division during WWII, with duty assignments in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Following his army service, "Charlie" had an illustrious 30-year career as a music educator in West Orange, New Jersey, serving first as a Band Director and later as the Department Chair for the district. During that time, he was President of the New Jersey Music Educators Association, conductor of the New Jersey All-State Band and a chosen U.S. representative for a conference in Russia. He was a co-founder of the Essex County Summer Music School, as well as co-authoring over two dozen method books for DK publishing which became widely used in the New York Metropolitan area. Upon retirement, his staff presented him with a plaque, quoting Cicero, as the "epitome of grace, wit, and charm".

Mr. Reifsnyder was an active trumpet player as a young man, as a member of the New Jersey Symphony and several other local orchestras and bands. He later was a patron of the arts, attending and contributing to, among many others, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Carnegie Hall's Visiting Orchestra Series and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His enthusiasm for great music, art and literature remained a focus of his life in retirement. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends instead make a contribution in his name to or arts organization.

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Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Feb. 21, 2014
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