OSWEGO — Evelyn Marie Wyatt Baer, 73, music educator, faithful church member, and devoted mother and grandmother died Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. She was born in Frederick, Maryland, the daughter of the late William H. and E. Marie (Crum) Wyatt.
Evelyn was a one-of-a-kind woman who truly enjoyed telling a good story, spending time with family and friends, and she always put others before herself. As a teacher, she shared her passion for music with all of her students, creating personal connections to last lifetimes with each and every one of them. She cared for her students deeply, treated them with kindness and patience, and was always willing to help and support them in any way possible. Evelyn was a supportive friend to all, listening and coaching others through life’s most difficult moments. Her wry sense of humor delighted all whom she met. She always showed remarkable creativity and resourcefulness through all of her life’s challenges, and when met with adversity, always found a way to push through and remain positive.
An intelligent and hard-working scholar her whole life, Evelyn graduated valedictorian of Brandon High School in Florida in 1964. She continued on to earn degrees in music education and music theory from the University of South Florida. While supervising student teachers at the University of Michigan, she was working towards a doctoral degree in music education and researching the life and work of Julia Crane.
Evelyn’s 50+ year career in music education took her from Florida to Virginia to Michigan to New York where she spent the last 30 years in Oswego. Evelyn taught as a music educator throughout central New York including the Oswego City School District and Trinity Catholic Elementary School, all while maintaining her own private lesson studio. Midstate Music was recently her home for over 15 years where she became a part of the Farden family, taught instrumentalists of all ages, and helped to serve the Oswego music community. Evelyn was a multi-instrumentalist who played flute her whole life and was an active performer in many local churches and events including playing in and conducting the Oswego City Band.
For many years, after being supported through the organization herself, she was active in Resolve of central New York, an infertility support group. She participated in many regional workshops and fundraising events and became a support person using her lightful sense of humor to help those who struggled to cope with their personal adversity.
She was an active member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church for over twenty years, singing in the choir every Sunday, participating in the Worship and Music Committee, and helping to lead the church through many changes through the years. She led Christian education, confirmation classes, and had liturgical knowledge like a pastor. Evelyn always enjoyed preparing music for special services, especially Christmas and Easter.
When she wasn’t involved in church activities, she could be found out bargain hunting, enjoying a meal with her church pals or dinner at the Press Box with the Fardens. She spent a lot of time researching genealogy and enjoyed sharing her family history through her ancestors’ stories. Traveling to see family, sitting and talking with relatives, and touring historic cemeteries full of her ancestors were among her favorite summertime activities. Evelyn always loved a glass of good red wine and enjoyed sharing her opinions on current events and the stock market. She loved her daughters and granddaughter very much and was proud of all of their accomplishments. Evelyn was very happy to see Julia and Katharine grow up and become the women she always wanted them to be.
She was predeceased by her parents and sister, Willa Sue.
She is survived by her daughters, Julia (Clinton) Dunsmoor of Auburn, New York, and Katharine (Timothy Segado) Baer of Stratford, New Jersey; granddaughter Elsie June Baer-Segado; her sister, Donna (Richard) Melton of Florida; and her many close cousins and friends including cousin Jeanne Brinsfield of Woodbine, Maryland, and good friend Mary Cay Donovan of Oswego, New York.
Calling hours will be held 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 with a Memorial Service to follow at the Nelson Funeral Home, 11 W. Albany St., Oswego. Face masks and social distancing will be required.
Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland.
Burial will be private.
While flowers are welcome, the family is asking for contributions to be made to WCNY Classic FM in honor of Evelyn’s enjoyment of their programming, especially her weekly listening of the Metropolitan Opera broadcast.