Agnes Carmela Chiappinelli "Chippy" Betts
Agnes Carmela Chiappinelli "Chippy" Betts SUMMERVILLE - Agnes Carmela Chiappinelli "Chippy" Betts, 89, formerly of Mount Kisco, N.Y. and Hendersonville, N.C. entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, October 6, at the Life Care Center of Charleston, South Carolina. She was the oldest of four children, born in Mount Kisco on February 19, 1921, to Thomas G. Chiappinelli and Lillian DeSalvo Chiappinelli, Italian / Sicilian immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island before World War One. Agnes was a naturally gifted musician and music educator. She was an accomplished pianist, choral director, and soprano vocalist. She spoke no English upon entering public school at age five, yet graduated Valedictorian of her senior class at Mount Kisco High School at age seventeen. She received a full scholarship to New York University, earned both Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Music Education, and was employed as a public school vocal music teacher with the Chappaqua Central School District in New York State for twenty eight years. She spent one year teaching in Glasgow, Scotland, after World War Two, as part of a foreign exchange program for teachers. Agnes was also employed as the choir director at the First Congregational Church in Chappaqua during the 1950s and 1960s. Her home church was Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Mount Kisco where she returned as a full time member in 1967. In 1957, Agnes married her husband, Robert Jefferson Betts of Manhattan, an engineer with AT&T. He predeceased her in 2005. Their earlier years together were happily spent in Mount Kisco, raising a young daughter in the home on Croton Avenue that Agnes's father had built. In 1973 the Betts family moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina, where for the next thirty years, Agnes was actively involved in several music organizations including the Carolina Chamber Singers and the Hendersonville Madrigal Singers, with which she served as music director and librarian for many years. She was highly respected in the community as a private piano instructor, accompanist, vocalist and music director. She was a member of Saint James Episcopal Church and sang in the church choir. She was a faithful "Pink Lady" at Pardee Memorial Hospital, where for years on Monday afternoons, she played the piano and sang hymns to the terminally ill patients in the Extended Care Unit. Agnes is survived by her daughter, Alison Gina Betts Harvey, son-in-law, Dane Brandon Harvey, of Summerville, South Carolina, two granddaughters, Chelsea Elisabeth Harvey of Auburn University, Alabama, and Jocelyn Betts Harvey, of Summerville, her beloved sister-in-law, Nancy Sutherland Chiappinelli, of Stafford, Virginia, and five nieces and nephews. A private memorial service will take place at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Mount Kisco followed by interment at Kensico Cemetery; Garden of the Apostles, Valhalla, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Agnes's memory to any music organization of one's choice, or to the Alzheimer's Association. Arrangements by PARKS FUNERAL HOME, 130 West 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483. Visit our guestbook at deaths

Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, 2010.
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