Laura Mahan Balkin, 67, classical violinist, Geneseo Central music teacher, and SUNY Geneseo music professor, died peacefully at home in Falmouth, MA on Saturday, April 10, 2016, from cancer.
She leaves behind her beloved husband and devoted teaching and musical partner of forty years, Richard Balkin; son Nicholas Balkin and his wife Sophia Innerfield of Somerville, Massachusetts; son Daniel Balkin and his wife Rebecca Balkin of Brooklyn, New York; son Douglas Balkin and his wife Elizabeth Balkin of Evanston, Illinois; two grandchildren, Elena Balkin, age fourteen months, and Henry Balkin, age three months; and sister Lisa Mahan and her husband Terry Moffatt, of New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Eldest daughter of Emma J. Mahan (DeLisle) and William J. Mahan, Laura grew up in Burlington, New Jersey. She showed musical aptitude from an early age and later attended New England Conservatory for her undergraduate and graduate education.
She and her husband Richard cofounded the Tremont Quartet, which performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Library of Congress, and at a New York state gubernatorial inauguration. The quartet was later in residence at SUNY Geneseo, where both Laura and Richard taught for thirty-eight years.
One of Laura’s proudest accomplishments during her career was building the string program at the Geneseo Central School, inspiring countless students. Later, when the program was threatened by budget cuts, she launched a passionate campaign rallying the community to save it and succeeded—twice.
As proud as she was of her musical and teaching career, Laura was most proud of her family, who will remember her always for her boundless vitality and enthusiasm, incredible generosity, and endless capacity for love. She enjoyed nothing more than family vacations on Cape Cod every summer and making sure everyone was fed and happy. She was a natural in her new role as adoring grandmother to her two grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for later in the summer in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Laura’s honor to the VNA of Cape Cod Hospice and Palliative Care, either online at support.givetocapecodhealth.org (designation: VNA of Cape Cod Hospice and Palliative Care) or by sending a check to CHCC: VNA Hospice & Palliative Care, P.O. Box 370, Hyannis, MA 02601.