|Darlene J. Sitler|
Darlene J. Sitler, 53, of Coudersport, PA, has just been officially identified by State Police as the woman who was shot to death in front of the congregation Sunday morning by her 52 year old ex-husband while she played the piano at the First Presbyterian Church in Coudersport.
Sitler died at the scene and the ex-husband was subdued by members of the congregation and taken into custody by police. Police have yet to name the ex-husband, even though various newspaper and TV websites have listed the suspect as Greg Eldred, from Coudersport, PA, an Elementary Music teacher the Coudersport Elementary School.
Black Forest Radio previously reported that Eldred entered the church from a side door and fired two shots at Sitler, apparently killing her instantly. The congregation from the church was bussed to the County's Gunzburger Building where they were interviewed as witnesses.
Sitler was the Music Director at Northern Potter School. She was hired in 1982 as the elementary music teacher. Sitler presently taught K–6 music classes, instrumental/band, vocal/chorus, and music technology. She had earned certificates in three levels of Orff Schulwerk, a total approach to fostering creativity and conveying musical knowledge and skills, and received her master’s degree in elementary education. Sitler also serves as the District 2 East Elementary Festival Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
Sitler was a 1981 graduate of Lebanon Valley College where she was a member of the Girls’ Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chapel Choir, College Choir, and the Symphonic, Marching, and Concert Bands. And, she was an accompanist for campus recitals and an active member of the LVC student MENC chapter.
Sitler played the horn in the Wellsville (N.Y.) Performing Arts Orchestra, and served as organist and choir director for the First Presbyterian Church in Coudersport. Sitler was recently recognized by her colleagues when they nominated her as a Yale Distinguished Music Educator in 2011.
The latest public information release by Trooper David A. Surra of the Coudersport PSP barracks said additional information will be provided as available.