Peggy Dellinger Benanti unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2020 at her home in Scottsdale AZ. She was a graduate of Cherryville High, Class of '49. Daughter of John and Minnie Dellinger of Cherryville. Sister of Matthew Dellinger of Cherryville, Clement Dellinger of Granite Falls NC, Emily Dellinger Murray Stephens of Atlanta GA and the late Norma (Mrs. David) Dellinger Bridges of Cherryville. She is survived by her husband, Harry and Son, Richard Benanti of New York, her daughters, Stephanie Benanti Gracia of Dallas TX and Carol Benanti Gangi of Scottsdale AZ, six grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and the Julliard School of Music in NY.
Viewing will be held Saturday, August 22, from 12:30 to 1:45 PM at Carpenter- Porter Funeral Home in Cherryville with service to follow at 2:00 PM. A Graveside Service will be held at Cherryville City Memorial Cemetery Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM.
Peggy Dellinger Benanti of Cherryville, NC was born March 28, 1931 and passed away on August 16, 2020, she was 89 years old.
Peggy began playing piano at the age of 3. She was a child prodigy and somewhat of a celebrity in her home town of Cherryville. She played piano and the organ for her church, as well as giving private performances and local radio performances from the age of five. She also taught piano locally as a young girl.
At age 17 she received a full scholarship from Bob Jones University in Greenville SC, she attended for several years.
Peggy later moved to Newport News with her sister Norma and worked as an army secretary where she met her husband to be, Harry Benanti of Brooklyn NY, who was stationed at camp Eustis. They married in 1952 and moved to Brooklyn. Peggy began a career in NYC working for NBC on Wall street in the script department and did part time modeling for Esther Williams bathing suit ads.
In 1958 Peggy and Harry had their first child Stephanie. The family relocated to Huntington NY, Long Island and later West Hempstead NY. As the family grew, Carol was born in 1961 and Richard in 1963, Peggy dedicated herself to her children and her piano.
While raising her children, Peggy became a certified teacher in the Robert Pace Method and in 1971 began master classes with Howard Aibel and Rosina Lhévinne at the Julliard School of Music in NYC.
As the children grew older and attended summer camps in PA, she ventured off on her own and visited many countries throughout Europe. She attended music festivals and educational events at the Salzburg Mozart Festival. She also visited Egypt.
Peggy concluded her education at Julliard as a fully trained concert pianist in 1978.
In 1989 Peggy relocated to Scottsdale, AZ to be near her daughter Carol and her two children, where she remained for the rest of her life. She practiced piano daily and played for small audiences on a volunteer basis.
Peggy was a brilliant woman with an extensive knowledge of piano, conducting and music theory. She was dedicated to her children and made many personal and career decisions to be the best mom she could. To say that she will be missed by her family is a vast understatement. The world lost a talented and kind woman.
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