Decatur Herald & Review
Eunice Lillith Heideman Dansby Gingrey, 84, of Decatur, IL, died Sunday, August 14, 2011. Mrs. Gingrey was born January 11, 1927, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Rev. Benjamin and Theo Amsbury Heideman. She married Ellsworth H. Dansby, Jr. on September 24, 1949 and he preceded her in death on June 4, 1989. She later married Floyd Junior Gingrey on December 2, 1995 and he preceded her in death on October 30, 2008.
She was a lifelong music teacher and performer having taught at Millikin University and public schools in Wheaton, Bethany, Cerro Gordo, Maroa, and Decatur. She was a member of the Decatur Municipal Band and the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra where she was later a manager and then Director of Development and Public Relations. She had been a member of the Executive Board of the Symphony Guild for many years and has served in a number of capacities. She was a published author of many magazine articles, an editor of magazines and books, and a published composer. She graduated magna cum laude from Millikin and received her Master's Degree there also.
Mrs. Gingrey held membership in the League of Women Voters for which she served on the state Education Comm. She also was a member of the Near West Side Restoration and Preservation Society, the Macon County Historical Society, the Advisory Board of the Area Agency on Aging for an 18 county area, the Mission Comm. of First Presbyterian Church, Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Music Sorority where she held many offices, National Education Assoc., National Music Educator's Assn., Curriculum Comm. for the Creative Center for Learning, the Continental Club, and was a long time member of the Board and supporter of the Decatur and Macon County Senior Center. She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and was a member of Decatur's First Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder and was active for many years in the choir. She is listed in Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who of Musicians, International Who's Who of Women, Who's Who in the World, and several similar publications. She received a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Music Educator's Assn. where she was also a state officer, was named Woman of Excellence in Fine Arts by the YWCA, and in 2005 was named the Outstanding Volunteer in Education for the state of Illinois by the State Office on Aging. She served as a School Board member for Decatur District 61 for 5 ½ years, and has been a docent in the schools for both Project Heart and the Symphony Education Comm.
Surviving are her daughter Deborah D. Dansby (William III) Wells of Orlando, FL and son Ellsworth H. (Patricia) Dansby III of Athens, IL; two step-children, Marilyn Gingrey (James) Apke and William Joseph (Natalie) Gingrey, all of Decatur. Also surviving are several grandchildren, seven step grandchildren, and brother Orin (Dixie) Heideman of Utah. She was preceded in death by both husbands.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the Decatur and Macon County Senior Center.