Elaine Zwicky


Elaine Merrill “Susie” Zwicky, 73, died on April 21, 2012, at her home in Oak Park, Illinois.

Elaine was born May 7, 1938, to Frederick and Ruth (Merrill) Holmes in Boston, Mass. She married Gary L. Zwicky on August 28, 1960, in Vineyard Haven. He died on April 8, 2012, in Oak Park.

Elaine received her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Illinois at Champaign and her master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University. She opened a world of music to many piano students by teaching private lessons in her home for many years. She also taught organ and piano at Lakeland College in Mattoon and served as an accompanist at EIU. She served as organist at churches in Illinois, Texas, and Massachusetts, and she was an accomplished violinist.

She realized a lifelong dream when she and Gary built a house in Aquinnah on property she had inherited from her aunt. Her family had a long history on the Island, where her grandfather, Charles Merrill, had been a minister.

Elaine enjoyed a wonderful retirement with her husband on Martha’s Vineyard, where she loved living by the sea and having her family visit. She also derived much joy from playing keyboard duets with her husband, as well as playing in the Vineyard Haven Band. She was a talented musician with perfect pitch who still loved to sing in her later years.

Elaine is survived by her son, Fred Zwicky, and his wife, Elise, of Pekin, Illinois; her daughter, Jeanette Simon, and her husband, Gregg, of Oak Park; her grandchildren Megan, Kristen, and Sean Zwicky of Pekin, and Hunter and Winston Simon of Oak Park; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Raymond Holmes and Don Holmes.

Cremation was accorded by Gamboney and Son in Oak Park. A Celebration of Life Mass was held in Illinois for both Elaine and Gary. Another service will be held on the Vineyard at a future date, when their ashes will be interred at Oak Grove Cemetery in Tisbury.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association,
 P.O. Box 96011, 
Washington, DC 20090-6011.