The Evansville Press, January 28, 1955

George Honig's Wife Dies at 69 in Local Hospital

Mrs. Alda McCoy Honig, well-known pianist and music teacher, died at 8:30 this morning at St. Mary's Hospital.

She was the wife of George Honig, Tri-State sculptor and designer of the Lincoln Pioneer Village at Rockport.

Mrs. Honig was 69. She had been suffering from a heart condition and had been at St. Mary's since Dec. 21.

She was an accomplished pianist and had studied piano for several years in Vienna. She had taught piano, both in Evansville and Rockport, almost continuously since 1918, retiring about two years ago.

Her last studio here was in her home at 116 E. Powell Av.

Mrs. Honig was born near Richland in Spencer County. Her father was a doctor and the descendant of a pioneer family. Seven of her ancestors had fought in the Revolutionary War.

She began studying the piano in her childhood, and when she was 13 her father took her to DePauw University where she was accepted as a music student.

When she was 16, she and a girl friend from Evansville, went to London to meet Mme. Marguerite Lisziewska, and assistant of Leschetizky, one of the most famous piano teachers of his era.

Leschetizky had helped guide the musical career of the Polish pianist, Paderewski, who later was a founder of the Polish Republic, and who toured the world as a pianist.

Alda McCoy, still a teen-ager, was taken to Vienna to audition with Leschetzky. According to stories of this audition, as Alda McCoy began to play, Leschetizky grew red in the face, and Alda feared she had failed. When she had finished, the master began to applaud. "Very beautiful," he said.

Studied in Vienna

Miss McCoy studied in Vienna for two years and was called home by the illness and death of her father.

After her return she taught at DePauw. She married George Honig in 1917 and the young couple went to New York City, where they met Belle Dunigan a native of Rockport, an opera singer, and a director of New York's Philharmonic Choral Society. Miss Dunigan presented Mrs. Honig in a recital at the Waldorf and encouraged her to study for a concert career, but in a year the couple had returned to Evansville because of Mr. Honig's work.

Mrs. Honig had kept a memento of her days in New York. It is a gold baton, willed to her by Miss Dunigan.

She reopened her studio here. And one of her best known pupils was Mrs. Shirley Land Snethen, who has been piano soloist in many concerts here.

Founded Piano Club

Mrs. Honig was active in the Evansville Musicians Club during the '20s, and was founder of the Leschetzky Piano Club.

In 1933, the Honigs moved to Rockport, where Mr. Honig was instrumental in building the Lincoln Pioneer Village. Mrs. Honig was active in the Rockport Musicale, and became president of that group.

The Honigs returned to Evansville in 1948. Mrs. Honig in her later years found pleasure in writing poetry. A book of her verse was published in London.

Mrs. Honig was a member of the DAR, Indiana Federation of Music Clubs, Trinity Methodist Church, and Alpha Chi Omega social sorority.

Beside her husband, Mrs. Honig is survived by a sister, Mrs. Ruth Bullock, Evansville, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Boone Funeral Home, Dr. Frank Greer, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, officiating. Burial in the Richland, Ind., cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home after noon Saturday.