Elaina Renfrew

Elaina Renfrew (Pelkey)

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Elaina Mary (Pelkey) Renfrew
October 31, 2020

Elaina Mary (Pelkey) Renfrew passed away at age 42 on October 31, 2020 after a long, hard, courageous battle with cancer. She went peacefully, surrounded by those closest to her heart. Elaina was born on November 16, 1977 in Syracuse, N.Y. A graduate of Phoenix Central Schools, she was active in many organizations. From many years in marching band, with two years as drum major, to concert, jazz and pit band, all county and all state bands and many other leadership programs her love for music was obvious to us all. Many will remember her caring, kind, friendly, selfless, beautiful personality shining through her smile.

She attended SUNY Fredonia, and SUNY Oswego where she majored in Music Education and Music Therapy, receiving two Master’s degrees including one in Special Education and the other Music Education as well as an Administrative (CAS) in Education. All things she was highly passionate about throughout her life. After college those passions brought Elaina to a rewarding career as a music and chorus teacher for the Syracuse City School District, Hannibal Central Schools, North Syracuse Central Schools and Mexico Central Schools. She also worked as a Special Education teacher at Main Street School in the North Syracuse District. Elaina even spent time as an Administrator as the Coordinator of Educational Programming at OCM BOCES for a few years before returning to teaching. Throughout all those years, many students and teachers benefited from her knowledge and enthusiasm. She brought her hard working ethic, her love for people and children, and attention to detail to all the positions she held.

On July 22, 2000, Elaina married her high school sweetheart, Keith Renfrew. Together the couple have raised three beautiful children – Aubrianna, a freshman at Keuka College, Keaton, a senior and Mason, a freshman at Phoenix Central Schools. Many pets, especially her dogs, have been loving members of the family over the years. Elaina was an active parent, lending a hand to anyone and anything that needed help, from the Phoenix Chorus and Drama Boosters, the Phoenix Winterguard to her latest role as the Vice President of the Phoenix Band Boosters. Elaina also was a great supporter of various autism organizations like R.E.S.A. and F.E.A.T. in the community and worked tirelessly to improve opportunities for autistic individuals.

Elaina is survived by her loving husband Keith, her children Aubrianna, Keaton, and Mason; her parents Susan and Robert Grenyo; her sister Tiffany Zacholl; her in-laws Gordon and Anna Renfrew; sister-in-law Sara Renfrew; and nephews Julian and Samuel Zacholl. She was predeceased by her natural father, Kenneth Pelkey, in 2016.

Calling hours will be Friday 11/6 from 4-7 PM at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main Street, Phoenix, NY with the funeral immediately following at the funeral home. A celebration of Elaina’s life will be held on Saturday 11/7 from noon to 6 PM at the CNY Rod and Gun Club at 182 Peter Scott Road in Pennellville N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a college fund for her three children via Venmo, @Keith-Renfrew, or PayPal,
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, November 6th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, November 6th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Homes
    431 Main Street
    Phoenix, NY 13135
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Friday, November 6th, 2020 | 7:00pm
    Friday, November 6th, 2020 7:00pm
    Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Homes
    431 Main Street
    Phoenix, NY 13135
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Sharon Dahl

Posted at 10:16am
We are so sorry to hear of Elaina’s passing. Elaina was one of the sweetest souls you could meet. Always full of life and up for fun. She filled many shoes and our prayers for all those who will miss her forever. My fondest memory of Elaina is a Youth Group trip to Boston. Father Ladd specified one small suitcase per person as we had rented a small van. Elaina showed up for the trip with a medium size case for just her hair products! We all squished in the van and Elaina looked beautiful the whole trip🥰. Rest In Peace Elaina


Maria C.

Posted at 06:41pm
My path crossed with Elaina in 2015. I was restarting my teaching career after an absence of many years. I interviewed in front of her and she hired me, believed in me and provided me with a foundation on which to build my career. It was a critical period in my life. I did get the chance to tell her in person what an impact she had in my life. Although our paths only crossed for a short time, I have not forgotten her. I often think of the significant people that have influenced my life, and she is one of them. She was brilliant and sincere. Generous and kind. Her mark in the world of education will continue. I am blessed to have known her. God bless.

Cynthia Paine

Posted at 01:46pm
Words cannot express our grief. Our hearts break for all of you. Elaina lived her life out loud. She will be so missed by all who knew her. We hope the memories you have will give you comfort and peace in the days ahead.

Cara Reynolds

Posted at 09:25am
Thoughts and prayers
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Cara Reynolds purchased flowers for the family of Elaina Renfrew.


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