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Agnes Marie Dey

April 9, 1935 ~ November 16, 2022 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Agnes Marie Dey (née Dick) passed away at age 87 in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Agnes was born in Coaldale, Alberta on April 9, 1935.  She was the second youngest child of eight children born to Margaret Dick (née Reimer) and Bernhard Dick.  Her favorite memories were of growing up on her family’s farm in Coaldale.  She grew up in a German-speaking household with her siblings Lydia, John, Margaret, Henry, Victor, Art and Erna.  Agnes fondly remembered afternoons spent ice skating on ponds with her siblings and cousins, and nights spent enjoying the vast, starlit Alberta sky.  A particularly favorite memory for Agnes was when she accompanied on the piano the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church Choir in their performance of Handel’s Messiah. 

Agnes graduated from The Alberta Mennonite High School in 1954.  Thereafter, in 1961, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alberta.

Academic libraries were a large part of Agnes’ life.  She worked at the Radcliffe College Library in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1960s.  Thereafter, she worked at the Drew University Library in Madison, New Jersey until her retirement in 2005.  Agnes worked at Drew during an exciting time, when libraries were transitioning from card catalogs to online catalogs.  Over the years, her colleagues in the Drew Library’s catalog department became her dearest friends and were a second family to her.

Music was a fixture in Agnes’ life.  During her youth, Agnes showed exceptional talent as a pianist and eventually earned her degree in piano (A.R.C.T.) from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto in 1960.  In the 1970s, she studied organ under Lester Berenbroick, a Professor Emeritus at Drew University and the music director and organist for the Presbyterian Church in Madison, NJ.  That led to a life of service as a church musician.  She was an organist for the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Chatham, New Jersey, and then for the Mendham United Methodist Church in Mendham, New Jersey.

Agnes viewed music as a way to serve and connect with others.  She most enjoyed accompanying choirs and soloists, and she was skilled at getting amateur musicians to shine.  As a church organist, her desire was to help people through worship feel closer to God. 

In her apartment, Agnes had on display the following poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which expressed some of her feelings about being a musician:


I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.


I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?


Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.


Agnes will be missed by her granddaughter, Maya Dey Montell, who Agnes was convinced is a perfect human being.  Her son-in-law, Roy Vice, will miss conversations with Agnes about the U.S. economy and the stock market.  Sadly, he now has to find another senior citizen to help with all their IT questions.  And Agnes will be missed dearly by her daughter, Meerabelle Dey Vice, who will be forever grateful to her mother for instilling in her a love of classical and sacred music, and who will never be able to hear a hymn from the United Methodist Hymnal without thinking of her mom.


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In Loving Memory Of

Agnes Dey

April 9, 1935-November 16, 2022

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