In Remembrance: Jean Searle Nelson Melcher ’44Mus Died on September 14 2013

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Jean Searle Nelson Melcher, School of Music class of 1944, passed away on September 14, 2013, in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her daughter at her side. She is survived by her children, Cynthia and Peter Melcher; four grandchildren, Thorne, Forte, Tucker, and Luke Melcher; and two nephews, Don and Jim Berrie.

Born on August 21, 1921, in West Haven, Connecticut, she mastered the piano at an early age and graduated from West Haven High School with honors in 1939. She attended the Yale School of Music, where she studied organ. After graduation, she secured a position as organist at the Edgewood Congregational Church in West Haven before marrying Pierson Fort Melcher Yale ’50, ’50MA. The couple eventually lived in California, Texas, Missouri, Connecticut, and Massachusetts as Pierson pursued a career in private schools.

Among Jean’s volunteer pursuits, she served on the Peninsula Committee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to help fund-raise for music education. Once Jean’s children were on their own, she returned to her music career, serving as substitute organist for Boston-Worcester area churches, while also teaching piano in her home, and accompanying the Assabet Valley Mastersinger. She ended her career serving as accompanist for annual shows put on by the senior residence she moved to in Fort Collins.

In addition to being a gifted musician, Jean also possessed great talents in visual and fiber arts. She was a kind and gentle soul who loved birdwatching and the beauty of our natural world. She is loved and missed. A full obituary is posted at the Goes Funeral Care website; the family welcomes contact on that web page from any classmates Jean may have had. On September 28, 2013, there will be a memorial service for Jean with Tamara Schmiege on the Phelps organ at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fort Collins.

—submitted by the family

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