Elena Bingham

Elena Bingham, 74, died suddenly on May 24, following emergency surgery.

Elena Bingham

Elena came to the United States in 1960 at the age of 14 along with her brother Ricky, two among the many children fleeing the Castro regime in Cuba as part of Operation Peter Pan. She spoke no English when she arrived, but she would go on to earn her Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1973. One of only two women in her program, she was an early entrant into what had been a largely male-dominated discipline. While in Texas, she married Richard Bingham. Together they moved to Wilmington to join the Dupont Co. as research scientists. While they later divorced, they remained supportive and caring friends right through her final days.

Elena moved through many assignments with DuPont before retiring in 2005. Following her retirement from the business world, she took on the role of president of Ursuline Academy, retiring for the second time in 2008. Elena was also on several boards of trustees, including St. Bonaventure University, St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, and the Franciscan Ministries Foundation.

Elena was a woman of many talents. Beyond her professional career, she loved to spend time painting, sculpting, and creating colorful quilts for family and friends. She also enjoyed expanding her linguistic skills. In addition to her native Spanish and English, she was fluent in Italian and most recently had begun studying German. She made many trips to Italy, living in Rome for months at a time, and greatly enjoyed her weekly meetings with her local 'Italian Group.'

Elena is survived by her beloved son, Miles Bingham, his partner, Christopher Church, and her brother, Richard Plasencia, along with his wife, Maria Elena, and their three children, Richard, Lisa, and Alex.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at noon on Sunday, June 13, at the Carriage House at Rockwood Park, 4671 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, DE. A light lunch will be served following the ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Elena's name to the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia (osfphila.org), or to the St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York (stfrancisnyc.org) to support their ongoing charitable programs.


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