A friend of music at First Congregational Church is someone like you!

403 South Jefferson Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Choirs Mourn the Passing of Mary Westervelt

Friends of Music mourn the passing of Mary Westervelt, a faithful and active member of First Congregational Church, where she was a member of the Chancel Bells, the Recorder Consort, and the Chancel Choir.

Mary Westervelt, of Saginaw, Michigan, formerly of Harrington Park, New Jersey, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2012, at the Cartwright Hospice Residence.

Mary L. Westervelt was born on August 11, 1954, in Englewood, New Jersey, to the late Benjamin C. and Grace B. (Hughes) Westervelt. She graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School, Old Tappan, NJ, in 1972. Before moving to Saginaw in 1994, Mary worked for Volvo. Later she held several administrative professional jobs. Mary appreciated her pet dogs and enjoyed cooking. Above all, Mary cherished the times she spent with her family.

Surviving are a sister, Beverly A. Westervelt of Saginaw, a brother, Richard A. (Sara) Westervelt of Winsted, CT, a twin sister, Nancy L. (Gerald) Maynes of Middletown, DE; also surviving are many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.

A memorial service will take place in January 2013.  In lieu of flowers those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Saginaw County Humane Society or First Congregational Church of Saginaw Organ Fund.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friends of Music Brave Wintry Weather for Classical Event

More than forty Friends of Music braved wintry weather to take part in an afternoon of music, spoken word, food, and fellowship.

The December 9 visit of the Midland Guitar Ensemble began with a program interspersing familiar Christmas melodies with poetry and prose written by Rainer Maria Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Boris Pasternak, Hilaire Belloc, and Violet Clifton. 

Members of the Midland Guitar Ensemble include Teri Warden Bickmore, who holds an M. Ed. degree from Vanderbilt University, Angelo Cassar, a retired Chemist from Dow Corning, who has degrees in Math and Physics from Wayne State University, Chemistry from Saginaw Valley State University, and a MA in Quantum Chemistry from Central Michigan University, Paul Teed, Professor of History at Saginaw Valley State University, and David G. Wilkins, an Associate General Counsel for the Dow Chemical Company.

John Stark and Nicholas Schmelter served as narrators.

Season’s eatings were celebrated at the tea reception hosted by coordinator Barbara Noyes-Stark, coordinator. 

Photos of the 12/9 Friends of Music event are courtesy of Kenneth Wuepper.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chancel Choir Mourns Death of Long-time Member - Lois Watson

Lois Watson passed away on November 24, 2012, at Pine River Healthcare Center in St Louis.

Lois was born in Clear Lake, Iowa, on May 25, 1918, to Fred and Vera Petersen. She was raised in a loving home among her extended family. Lois moved to Saginaw with her parents and three sisters in 1936. She worked for Bell Telephone Company as a supervisor in the business office. While singing in First Congregational Church’s Chancel Choir, she met her dear, David Watson. They married on April 10, 1948, and continued singing in the choir together for more than forty years.

Lois was an active member of First Congregational Church and the Bridget Fuller Circle. She was a member of chapter AS, PEO (a national women's philanthropic organization), for fifty-three years and twice served as its president. She was dearly loved by her PEO sisters and will be greatly missed.

Lois and Dave had two daughters, Leslie and Terry, raised with an abundance of love and patience. Lois was a devoted grandmother and developed a special relationship with each of her five grandchildren.

Lois moved from Saginaw to her daughter's home in Mount Pleasant in 2008.

Lois loved music of all kinds and found beauty in nature. She had a zest for life and enjoyed new experiences. Lois enjoyed people; she had a warm heart, a fun sense of humor, and a bright smile. Lois lived her life with courage, optimism, joy, and love.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband (David M. Watson) in 1990, sister (Gretchen Smith) in 2010, and sister (Lucille Hirlinger) in 2012.

Lois is survived by her daughter and son-in-law: Leslie and Mike DeSmyter; grandchildren: Michael and Erin DeSmyter, Abby DeSmyter, DJ DeSmyter; great-grandchildren: Maddy and Ethan DeSmyter (all of Grand Rapids); and, her daughter and son-in-law: Terry and Ray Horrocks; grandchildren: Ryan Horrocks and Jason Horrocks (all of Mt Pleasant); and, her sister: Pat Lathrop (of Grand Rapids); and, many special nieces and nephews and their families.

A memorial service will be held for Lois at First Congregational Church, 403 South Jefferson Avenue, on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Visitation will be one hour before the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Congregational Church or to ELF (educational loan fund) at PEO Executive Offices, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa, 50312.