For the last 18 months, Leslie Brody has written eloquently about her husband’s journey through pancreatic cancer and her own journey as a caregiver. With her words, she showed us courage, joy in life, grace under pressure, and love, in all its painful, dirty details. Sadly, we report that on Monday, Dec. 15 – 28 months after his diagnosis -- Leslie's husband, Elliot Pinsley, died.
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By JAY LEVIN
Elliot Pinsley, a journalist whose battle with pancreatic cancer was chronicled in The Record by his wife, Leslie Brody, died Monday.
He was 57 and lived in Montclair.
Mr. Pinsley, an editor with Bloomberg News for nearly a decade, had two tours with The Record, 1979 to 1988 and 1992 to 1999.
A meticulous writer and do-anything reporter, the Queens native covered numerous high-profile stories for the Record and made Page One his own. Within days of arriving at the paper, he was filing dispatches about the accident at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.
He covered the subway vigilante trial of Bernhard Goetz, the day care molestation trial of Margaret Kelly Michaels and the Baby M surrogate mother trial.
Shuttling between Shea Stadium and Fenway Park, he rode the emotional roller coaster with Mets fans during all seven games of the 1986 World Series.
And he vividly told of the violence and misery in Haiti after President Jean-Claude Duvalier was driven into exile in 1986.
“There is no electricity. When the sun goes down, Luly is dark,” Mr. Pinsley reported from a despairing village in the Haitian countryside.
“And of course, the people are poor. Many have no jobs, so they go hungry much of the time. A thin woman in a pink print dress holds out her hand to a visitor beseechingly. She pats her belly and then her mouth.”
“Pound for pound, Elliot was the best reporter I ever saw at The Record, or anywhere else,” said a colleague, retired Record columnist Jeffrey Page.
“And it was Elliot who taught me the difference between ‘meantime’ and ‘meanwhile.’ I remember saying to him, ‘You know this stuff?’Ÿ”
Mr. Pinsley eventually was promoted to assignment editor. He left The Record in 1999 to become a legal news editor at Bloomberg in New York. Most recently he was an arts and culture editor.
In 2006, Mr. Pinsley was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat. Beginning in July 2007, as part of The Record’s Living With Cancer series, family issues writer Leslie Brody shared much about her husband’s illness and her role as caregiver.
“We’re saddened to hear of Elliot’s death,” said Kathy Nugent, director of social service for CancerCare of New Jersey, a Ridgewood-based non-profit that provides help and hope to cancer patients and their families.
“Through Leslie’s sharing of her story, we were provided a glimpse into what life with pancreatic cancer is like. Life with cancer presents many challenges and uncertainties, and hope is vital in fostering our ability to cope and live with a cancer diagnosis.
“Elliot embraced hope. This was manifested in his work and his continued engagement with his family. He will be remembered for showing us that life with cancer can be lived with dignity.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Pinsley is survived by three children from a previous marriage, Aaron Pinsley of Chicago and Kate Pinsley and Max Pinsley, both of Hackensack; two stepchildren, Devon Geyelin and Alex Geyelin of Montclair; his mother, Helen Pinsley of New York City; and a sister, Marjorie Humphreys of Dorset, England.
The family plans a private funeral and a January memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Development Office, PO Box 27106, New York, NY 10087-7106.