Freida E. Myers

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

INDIANA, April 5 – Frieda E. Myers, a retired member of the Longwood University music faculty, died suddenly Saturday, April 2 in Bloomington, IN. She collapsed just before entering the Indiana University concert hall. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.

Miss Myers taught at Longwood from 1967 until her retirement in 1994. A talented pianist, she taught many piano students as well as courses in music appreciation and music education. She often played duo piano recitals with her colleague Paul Hesselink and sometimes served as substitute organist at the Farmville Presbyterian Church.

She was instrumental in establishing the popular Chamber Music Series in the Longwood University Music Department and was largely responsible for its success. When she was in charge no detail was too small. On one occasion she even found black socks for a performer who had brought only white ones with him. Shortly before she moved away from Farmville in 2007 the Music Department designated that one performance in the series each year be given in her honor.

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Miss Myers had many friends at Longwood and in town, some of whom she met on her long daily walks from her home on Beech Street, to High Street, and then up and down the Avenues from First to Fourth. She was seldom deterred by heat or cold, but sometimes by rain, and nearly always by snow.

Born on June 11, 1929 in Deputy, IN, she was the daughter of Walter and Anna Hardy Myers. After her father's death just before her third birthday, she moved with her family to Plainville where she began piano lessons at age six, attended public school and graduated in 1947. She received her bachelor's degree from Indiana Central College (University of Indianapolis) in 1951 and her Master of Music degree in piano from Indiana University in 1954.

She taught in the public schools in Ohio and Indiana for several years and at Otterbein College in Westerville, OH. She joined the Peace Corps in 1964 and was stationed in Ethiopia until 1966, an experience she remembered as life changing. In 2007 she moved from Farmville to the Methodist Retirement Community in Franklin, IN.

She is survived by a brother, John R. Myers (Wanda) of Danville, KY; niece, Janet Wagner of Minneapolis, MN; nephew, Howard Myers (Becky) of Tampa, FL; great-niece, Lisa Myers of New York City; and great-nephew, Ian Myers of Nashville, TN.

She donated her body to the Indiana University Medical School. Memorial gifts may be made to the Chamber Music Series Endowment Fund, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA.