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Eleanor Duke Avant
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Obituary for Eleanor Duke Avant

Eleanor Duke Avant, age 90, widow of Dr. William Earl Avant. passed away on February 2, 2018. Eleanor was the fourth child of Erline McIntosh and John Milton Duke of Kingstree, South Carolina. She attended Kingstree public schools, graduating first in her class. From there she attended Columbia College receiving a BS Degree in Music. She later received a Master’s Degree in Education from Duke University and completed 30 hours above the master’s at the University of South Carolina.
Eleanor and Dr. William Earl Avant were married for over sixty-six years. They have two sons, Alan Barry of Moncks Corner and David Keith (Andrea) of Columbia. They have four grandchildren, Caroline Keith, Claire Duke, William Sorrell, and John Luke.
Eleanor had a teaching career of 37 years in the public schools of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. She taught music in elementary, middle, and high schools for 27 years and elementary education for 10 years. While teaching music, she was active in her professional organizations. She served in the South Carolina Music Educators Association in many capacities including Membership Chairman, Retired Teachers Chairman, Vice President, and President. She was elected to the SCMEA Hall of Fame.
Eleanor was also active in the South Carolina and National Federations of Music Clubs. She was a long-time member of the Eau Claire Music Club of Columbia. She served that club in many positions including President for three terms and Secretary for one term. She was active on the state level, serving in many capacities including Convention Chairman twice and State President. She also held several positions in the National Organization including Southeastern Chairman of the Thelma A. Robinson Award in Ballet, Southeastern Chairman of American Music and National Chairman of American Women Composers. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.
Eleanor was predeceased in death by four brothers and one sister: Thomas Wilson “Skinny” (Jane), Milton McIntosh “Boots”, Lynwood Rowland (Betty), John Raymond (Janice) and Nell Duke Williams (T.D). Surviving are one brother and one sister: , A.C. (Sylvia), and Barbara Duke McCutchen (Edsel).
Eleanor and Dr. Avant lived in Columbia for over 40 years retiring to Georgetown (Dr. Avant’s childhood home) in 2008. They were residents of Prince George Apartments. They moved to the Presbyterian Home in Summerville, SC in March of 2017, where they both passed away. She was a member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and the Francis Asbury Sunday School Class.
Services will be held two o’clock Monday, February 5, 2018, at Duncan Church with burial following in Elmwood Cemetery. The family will greet friends prior to the service on Monday at the Family Life Center of the church from one until two.
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Memorials may be made to Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 901 Highmarket Street, Georgetown, SC 29440 or to the S.C. Federation of Music Clubs, Mrs. Linda Butters, 531 W. Church St., Bishopville, SC 29010 or to the South Carolina Music Educators Association, Mrs. Patricia S. Foy, 610 Cinnabar Court, Spartanburg, SC 29301.

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Previous Events





1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church Family Life Center

901 Highmarket Street
Georgetown, SC 29440





2:00 PM
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church

901 Highmarket Street
Georgetown, SC 29440

Cemetery Details


Elmwood Cemetery

1601 Highmarket Street
Georgetown, SC 29440

Memorial Contribution

Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church

901 Highmarket Street
Georgetown, SC 29440

SC Music Educators Association

c/o Mrs. Patricia S. Foy
610 Cinnabar Ct.
Spartanburg, SC 29301

SC Federation of Music Clubs

c/o Mrs. Linda Butters
531 W. Church St.
Bishopville, SC 29010

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