Dorothy L. Herr Sangrey, 97, Brethren Village, lifelong pianist and piano teacher, minister’s wife

By on December 17, 2014

Dorothy Lorraine Herr Sangrey, 97, of Brethren Village, Lancaster, died unexpectedly of natural causes Dec. 11 at Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center, Hospice and Community Care, in Mount Joy.

The daughter of Harry Herr and Henrietta Smith Herr, she was born on April 9, 1917 in Baltimore, Md., and moved at age 4 to Conestoga.

Dorothy played piano by ear by the age of 5. This gift was nurtured during her early years, and by age 15, she was church pianist at Conestoga UMC. She was formally trained in piano teaching, including a program at Washington University in St. Louis, Miss. Between 1935 and 1939, she taught piano to as many as 50 students per week.

Dorothy’s marriage to Rev. Abram Warfel Sangrey in 1939 marked the transition to her lifetime of service to the church in partnership with her husband. The Sangreys served United Methodist parishes in Fairfield, Chapman Quarries, Willow Street, Pottstown, and Lebanon, as well as Jersey City, N.J. and Bolton, Conn. The Sangreys had a lifelong commitment to ecumenical ministry which began with the founding of the United Church in Los Alamos, N.M. They also served the Greater Springfield (Mass.) Council of Churches, N.J. Council of Churches, American Friends Service Committee (Cambridge, Mass.) and Beacon Hill Friends House (Boston, Mass.).

Dorothy and Abram Sangrey were recognized by the Boehm’s Chapel Society in 1998 for their efforts to restore Boehm’s Chapel, near Willow Street. They also received the Lancaster New Era Red Rose Award for this service.

Dorothy was predeceased by her husband in 2004. Surviving are five children: Dwight Abram, married to Karla Ann Sangrey, of Portland, Ore.; Dawn Eda, married to Paul Fargis, of Bedford Hills, N.Y.; Dean H., married to Dee Sangrey, of Garden Valley, Idaho; Donald G., fiancé of Sondra Younker, of Sonora, Calif.; and Elletta, married to John D. Callahan, of Skaneateles, N.Y.; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were held Dec. 14 at First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, with the Rev. J. William Lentz, Jr. and the Rev. Kent E. Kroehler officiating. Interment will be private at the Conestoga United Methodist Cemetery, Conestoga.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Dorothy Sangrey Memorial Fund for Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church, 29 East Walnut Street, Lancaster, PA, 17602.

To send an online condolence to the family, visit Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home, Lancaster, was entrusted with the arrangements.

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