Linda Lanier-Keosaian
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Linda Lanier-Keosaian (1940-2013), of Hackensack, NJ, died on January 28 in her home following a brief illness.

She was a gifted and highly respected public school music educator, choral conductor, and church organist and choir director. Throughout her professional career, she demonstrated the highest levels of excellence and devotion to her art.

As a church organist and choir director, she served all major Christian denominations in both long-term and guest positions. A music teacher and choral conductor in the New Jersey public school system for more than twenty-five years, she spent seventeen of those years at Arts High School in Newark. She directed the Mass Chorus, the Freshmen and Sophomore Women's Choirs, the advanced Women's Ensemble, and a chamber chorus known as the Arts High Singers. Her Women's Choirs were rated "Superior" year after year at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) High School Festivals in New Jersey. In addition, she conducted the All North Jersey Junior High Women's Honors Choir and the All North Jersey High School Women's Honors Choir in 1997 and 2011, respectively. She founded the New Jersey High School Women's Choir Festival, co-sponsored by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Essex County College, and she co-founded the Essex County Choral Festival. In 2010, she presented a paper on the teaching of world drumming at the 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Beijing, China.

She received her Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, she also attended the University of Alabama. She earned her Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where her areas of concentration were organ performance, conducting, and composition. She gave her masters recital at St. James Episcopal Church in New York City.

At the time of her death, she was in the final stages of the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. studies in Music Education at New York University. The focus of her doctoral dissertation was César Franck's final composition, the organ Choral No. 3 in A minor. Since Franck left that work arguably incomplete at his death, she was examining differing interpretive approaches to the piece by offering herself as an organ student to a number of renowned organists and scholars in Europe and the United States.

She is survived by her husband of thirty years, the Rev. Gregory J. Keosaian; her daughter, Peternelle van Arsdale; her son, Jan W. van Arsdale, Jr.; her son-in-law Bryan Oettel; her daughter-in-law Amy van Arsdale; her five grandchildren, Galen Oettel, and Jansen, Carolynn, Stedman, and Jane van Arsdale; her sister, Ruth Lyle King; and her brother, Eldred Sorrell Lanier, Jr. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 16, at 3PM at the First Presbyterian Church in Englewood, NJ. Donations in her memory may be made to the John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Carol Hollen, 99 Franklin Avenue, Oakland, NJ 07436.

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Published in New York Times from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
August 31, 2013
Greg, Thinking of our former pastors, I was searching internet and discovered your recent loss. Our condolences to you and hopefully you remember us. We are now members of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River.
We remember how gracious your wife was and how you both contributed to the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Rahway. My husband Jim joined when you were our pastor, and there were many happy and fulfilling times in Sunday school and your ministry for Jennifer, Jacqueline, Jason.
Kathy Fulcomer
April 8, 2013
I have many vivid memories of the wonderful "Mrs. VanArsdale": the taste of her lemon chicken soup, to the piano playing coming from the dining room when I was visiting, to her devotion to her students, her days as a teacher and single mom, her attempts to teach me southern table manners. Loved her. Love and sympathy to Greg, Pet, Jan, her grandparents and extended family. xo Nikki
Nikki Mische
February 15, 2013
I was one of her students at Arts High School in Newark, NJ. I can honestly say she was one of my favourite teachers. She taught us all that even the smallest voice could make an impact. She never had an unkind word. She was both firm and fair with the students, and she genuinely cared about us all. She is sorely missed. I give my condolences to her family and friends, and I thank her for simply being her.
Gata Negrra
February 15, 2013
Greg, I am shocked and deeply grieved to hear of Linda's passing. A highly respected colleague, and very dear friend. My prayers for you and your family. Deborah Simpkin King
February 11, 2013
Our family was very saddened to hear of the passing of Linda Lanier-Keosaian. She taught my daughter in chorus at PR and was always sweet and caring. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences to the entire family.
Nunberg family
February 10, 2013
I just heard the news of Linda's passing. I am shocked indeed but rejoice that I had the opportunity of working with her on her dissertation and shall miss our many conversations. My deepest condolences.
Haig Mardirosian
February 10, 2013
Greg, On behalf of my mother, Stella, and my siters, Sue and Chris, our deepest sympathy for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Virginia Shamlian
February 9, 2013
I had Mrs. K as a music teacher at arts..she was one of the best!!! My prayers are with the family. Please know that she touched a lot of lives! !!
nicole verdier blake
February 9, 2013
I am a former student of Mrs. K and I can honestly say she was a wonderful person. She taught me from 1992-1996 at Arts High. I will forever remember those years because they changed my life. Mrs. K will forever be missed by all she taught. To her husband and children, I send my condolences.

Shakeera Fleming
February 9, 2013
I am so sorry to hear of Linda's passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sally Collins
February 9, 2013
Very sorry to hear of your loss. Our sympathy to Linda's family.

The Curtises
February 8, 2013
Our family will remember Linda as a devoted grandmother, Galen could always count on hert to be first in the theater to see him at every school performance. Our thoughts are with you.
Ana Gandara
February 8, 2013
such an amazing grandma. i love you mama linda with all my heart. i have been thinking about you everyday. rest in peace
Carolynn van Arsdale
February 8, 2013
our deepest sympathy to Greg, Peternelle and Jan and their children
mike and kay dennehy
February 8, 2013
I am so sorry for your loss.
Victoria Sanders
February 8, 2013
Such an amazing woman. I feel so privileged to have met her. She will be missed. Much Aloha to the family.
Patricia Wood
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