Elinor McLennan passed away quietly on September 12, 2020 at her home at Longwood at Oakmont after a long illness. She was born Elinor Kennedy Purves in New York City on October 15, 1938, to parents George Tybout Purves and Helen Warren Allen of Cedarhurst, Long Island. She spent her early years in Cedarhurst, eventually moving to Lake Forest, IL. She was educated at the Garrison Forest School and Briarcliff College. In 1959 she married Donald Roderick McLennan, Jr. and settled in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, before eventually moving to Ligonier, PA, to raise their children. Together they delved into farming and focused on land and wildlife conservation. Nothing made them happier than to walk their land and share it with others, their friends and their children.
Elinor was dedicated to the importance of a good education, serving on the boards of and eventually becoming president of both the Valley School of Ligonier and Garrison Forest School. Her dedication to Garrison Forest, and her many years of successful fund-raising, led the school to dedicate their new library in her name. Elinor was also dedicated to her church St. Michael’s of the Valley Episcopal Church in Rector, PA, serving there as a member of the choir, the altar guild, and the vestry. Quietly she would seek out ways to help others that served to change lives for the better.
Elinor harbored an abiding love for sports and travel and enjoyed both widely. Spending summers at the family cabin at the Huron Mt. Club in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan gave her the chance to surround herself with family and enjoy the outdoors. Whether engaging on serious topics, or enjoying a blowout game of Yahtzee, she cherished every moment she had. When she moved to Longwood, to be closer to her two daughters, she resumed her joy of playing bridge, and reconnected with her East-end friends who first welcomed her to Pittsburgh years earlier.
Elinor is survived by daughters, Deborah Scully (Arthur) and Courtney Myhrum, both of Fox Chapel, PA and their children Dillon Scully of Denver, CO, Morgan Scully of Moore, ID, Cally Watts of Pittsburgh, PA and Phoebe Bentley (Courtney) of Columbus, OH, step-daughter Alexandra McKellar (Chadwick) of Black Forest, CO, and her children Alden Whittaker of Denver, CO and Ashley Whittaker of Portland, OR, younger brother William Purves (Don Schmidt) of La Jolla, CA, and nephews Forrest Close (Nicole) of Wilton, CT and George Close (Mallory) of Norwalk, CT. She is predeceased by an older sister Anne Close of New York City.
Interment will be next to her husband at St. Michael's of the Valley Cemetery, Rector, PA. Contributions in her name are welcome to Huron Mt. Wildlife Foundation, Treasurer, 1088 Park Avenue, Apt. 10E, New York, NY 10128 or online at www.hmwf.org.
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Huron Mt. Wildlife Foundation, Treasurer
1088 Park Ave., Apt 10E, New York NY 10128