Barbara Eleanor Beeler, age 93, passed away on Monday, (May 5, 2014) at the Penn Yan Manor Nursing Home.
The Guest Book is expired.
Friends and family may call from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, (May 12, 2014) at the Penn Yan Presbyterian Church. A funeral service will be held following at 2 p.m. at the church. She will be buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Geneva.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Penn Yan Manor 655 Liberty St. Penn Yan, NY 14527, Penn Yan Public Library 214 Main St. Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527, Humane Society of Yates County PO Box 12 Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527
Barbara was born to Irene and Willis Henderson on August 21, 1920, in Geneva, New York. She first attended school in Geneva, but when she was eleven her family moved to a small fruit farm on Nutt Road near Dresden and she began attending the Penn Yan schools. She excelled at music and played clarinet, piano and string bass. In 1938 she graduated as valedictorian of her class and went on to study music education at Ithaca College. She was a member of the honorary music sorority Sigma Alpha Iota. Barbara graduated summa cum laude in 1942. She began her career in Angelica, New York, directing the band and teaching vocal music. She moved on to the Middlesex Valley Central Schools, teaching vocal music from kindergarten through high school. Then followed two years of teaching music in Newfane. Barbara earned her masters degree in music at Ithaca during the Newfane years. She later moved to Penn Yan where she taught elementary vocal music and class piano and initiated the string program. Her dynamic orchestra program fostered fine musicians, many of whom went on to make music their profession. She also taught numerous private piano students. Retiring in 1977 after twenty-five years, Barbara continued to play piano for local organizations and soloists and participated in a piano quartet in Geneva. She enjoyed playing until the last year of her life. Barbara was a member and elder of the Penn Yan Presbyterian Church and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She continued in retirement to maintain much of the family farm, selling nursery stock and Christmas trees. She enjoyed gardening and summers at the lake with family. She was an avid bridge player.
Barbara is survived by daughters Bonnie (Brown) Demerjian and her husband Haig, Anne (Brown) Wolden, and Merrill Laura (Brown) Race and husband Dennis; her four grandchildren Della (James) Montgomery, Laura (Brian) Meyerhoff, David and Derek Race as well as five great-grandchildren Rya and Hollis Montgomery, Austin and Madison Race and Ava Meyerhoff; a niece Sally (Charles) Stallsworth and first cousin; Richard (Sue) Henderson and family.
She is pre-deceased by her husband, Walter Beeler, grandson, Marcus Wolden and son in law, Robert Wolden.
Published in Finger Lakes Times from May 9 to May 11, 2014