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Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)

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Charlie Baum 29 Jul 08 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Elmore 29 Jul 08 - 01:12 PM
Charlie Baum 29 Jul 08 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,MeadowMuskrat 29 Jul 08 - 03:19 PM
lefthanded guitar 29 Jul 08 - 05:08 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jul 08 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Lisa Null 29 Jul 08 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,DWR 29 Jul 08 - 10:45 PM
Little Robyn 30 Jul 08 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,joyce 30 Jul 08 - 09:49 AM
Charlie Baum 30 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,DWR 30 Jul 08 - 02:15 PM
Art Thieme 30 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Mary Sinclair 31 Jul 08 - 12:16 AM
GUEST 01 Aug 08 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Marcia 04 Aug 08 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Buzz Chertkoff 06 Aug 08 - 07:20 AM
MaineDog 06 Aug 08 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour 20 Mar 16 - 11:52 PM
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Subject: Obit: Janet Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 01:02 PM

David Shewmaker just gave me the news. Janet Boyer was the daughter sister of Bob Beers and wife of Bill Boyer I'm posting the obituary from the St. Louis Post-Disptach:

ST. LOUIS : Folk musician, founder of Music Folk store

07/27/2008

Janet Beers Boyer, a folk musician who, with her husband, founded two folk music hubs in Webster Groves in the 1970s, died Friday (July 25, 2008) at her Kirkwood home after a 6½-year battle with cancer. She was 80.

In 1973, Mrs. Boyer and her husband, Jonas William "Bill" Boyer Jr., who died in 1983, founded the Music Folk music store at 8015 Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves. The store specialized in acoustic and rare folk instruments.

The couple opened the Focal Point music venue and coffee house two doors down in 1976. The two businesses quickly became gathering places for musicians and folk enthusiasts and remain so today under different owners. Music Folk remains at the same location, and the Focal Point is currently at 2720 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood.

In the early years, the couple housed and fed many touring folk artists who made the Focal Point a regular stop on their tours.

"She liked the do-it-yourself, rootsy aspect of folk culture," said Andy Ploof, current co-owner of Music Folk. "She was very interested in American cultural and ethnic history, so for her it was all about carrying on traditions to future generations."

Before opening Music Folk, the couple spent many years playing in a family band with their children, with Mrs. Boyer on banjo. The family performed extensively here and nationwide at summer festivals. They also founded the St. Louis Folk Music Society, organizing large gatherings of music making around town.

Mrs. Boyer was born in Sproul, Pa., and moved to St. Louis as a small child, at which time she was trained on the cello. She and received a bachelor's degree from Park College near Kansas City where she met her husband. They married in 1950 and settled in Kirkwood.

Mrs. Boyer first caught the folk bug while sitting at her grandfather's side as he played Irish fiddle tunes and sang folk songs. Her brother, Bob Beers, also became a prominent musician who started New York's Fox Hollow Folk Festival of Traditional Arts. Mrs. Boyer and her family performed at the festival in the 1960s and 1970s.

She continued to play cello, playing for many years in the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Kirkwood symphonies. She also was a longtime volunteer for Reading Is Fundamental and was an elder at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, 11155 Clayton Road in Frontenac. Burial will be private.

Among the survivors are two daughters, Susan Boyer Haley of Clearwater, Fla., and Rebecca Boyer Hall of High Ridge; two sons, Jonas William Boyer III of Traverse City, Mich., and John Michael Boyer of Kirkwood; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Music and Worship Committee at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, 11155 Clayton Road, Frontenac, Mo. 63131-2548; or to a charity of the donor's choice.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Elmore
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 01:12 PM

Charlie, Janet Boyer was Bob Beers' sister, not his daughter. Bob died in 1972, age 51.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 02:42 PM

Oops. The fingers type one thing while the brain thinks another.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,MeadowMuskrat
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 03:19 PM

I have fond memories of seeing her and the family perform at many of the Fox Hollow festivals. I believe she sang the lead on Dumbarton's Drums cut on the album the family put out. Does anyone know if any of the family members still perform , including Martha Beers Nagler whom I believe is Janet Beers niece?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 05:08 PM

I have been a fan of the Beers' family since attending their Fox Hollow festivals a few seasons ago. Sorry to hear of this. I also am wondering if any other family members are performing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:14 PM

I'm just glad I knew Janet and Bill. Staying with them in Kirkwood when I played at the Focal Point was always a joy. My condolences to the whole wonderfully musical Beers/Boyer family. Along with George and Gerry Armstrong, and Sandy & Caroline Paton, they set a great and gentle standard for so many of us.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Lisa Null
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 09:15 PM

Janet was a wonderful, strong, caring person with a lot of courage. Both of us shared the bittersweet experience of caring for disabled sons. My son, John, has been handicapped from birth but her son was injured in an accident at the peak of his young manhood. This is a tougher situation. We gave each other comfort and advice around this issue and I always appreciated her emotional honesty. I remember her as having a deep if questioning faith, a rigorous mind, and a love of music in many forms. I loved seeing her when playing the Focal Point,

Lisa Null


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 10:45 PM

While I didn't know Janet except to say hello, as a regular attendee at the Focal Point for many years, I certainly benefited from that caring nature.

Her spirit will live on with the Haven that the Focal Point provides.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 03:23 AM

If Janet was the lead singer on Dumbarton's Drums, I have enjoyed her singing since 1967!
Wonderful lady.
Thank you.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,joyce
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 09:49 AM

Janet was my friend since I moved to St. Louis in 1962. In response to those who asked about the families performances, the children live in Florida, California and St. Louis and do not perform together. However, on Janet's 80th birthday earlier this year, they all performed at a worship service in honor of the occasion and it was a wonderful reunion. Becky Boyer Hall is a second violinist with the St. Louis Symphony. Janet will be sadly missed by many-her beautiful smiling face and loving personality.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM

In other news of daughters, Susan Boyer Haley was just at the Common Ground on the Hill traditions weeks and festival in Westminster, Maryland, this past July, teaching dulcimer and performing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:15 PM

http://www.thefocalpoint.org/history.html

Here's a history of Focal Point, including a section entitled Janet Boyer Remembers.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM

...and there is a photo of Susan a long time ago---at my photos website:

http://rudegnu.com/art_thieme.html

A photo of Becky playing banjo at home is there too.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Mary Sinclair
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 12:16 AM

Janet's funeral will be Sunday, August 3rd at 3:00 at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church. I am the music director there, and Janet was in choir and an active church member.

I thought you all might be interested to know that her family will be performing at the service, and a recording of Janet singing Dumbarton Drums will also be played.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about Janet - a dear lady who touched so many lives. I am going to pass this website along to her family because I know they would enjoy reading your kind words about their mother.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 11:56 PM

A personal note: I would probably not be playing music today -- certainly not in public -- if it weren't for the encouragement of support of Janet Boyer. I suspect there are a lot of people in St. Louis (and elsewhere) who could say the same thing.

The last time I saw her was at the Music Folk Christmas Eve party last year. She was in fine voice and spirit, and when she sang the Peace Carol it brought tears to my eyes. Again.

Peace,
Paul


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Marcia
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 08:03 AM

I have been shopping at Music Folk since sometime in the '80s and met Janet and Bill when frequenting their shop. Much later, after Janet sold the store, I had the opportunity to work there for 10 years. Janet would drop by the store about once a month and I enjoyed getting to know her a little better. She was a kind, warm and gentle spirit and her knowledge of folk music and folk musicians was amazing. She was dedicated to her family and much loved by all who knew her. She will be missed and remembered by many, and my condolences go out to her family. You are all in my thoughts and in my heart.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Buzz Chertkoff
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:20 AM

I came across this web site by sheer chance, and it is sad to hear of the death of a person whose music I so much enjoyed years ago. I consider myself really lucky to have attended the first three Fox Hollow Festivals (and that included the year of Pitter Poon the Rain Came Doon). As a long time director (and President the year Bob Dylan came to Toronto Island with his wife and son just to see our Mariposa Folk Festival that he had heard so much about), I had always said that to me the Beers-Boyer family ran the best, most authentic and heart warming festival I had ever attended. I camped out on their grounds in my little red "snoring tomato" dome tent, and always stayed a little longer to help Bob clean up the site. One time after the festival Bob and I drove to the Hudson River to spend a little time on Pete Seeger's yacht, the Clearwater. At Fox Hollow I bought my 6 string (3 double strings) dulcimer directly from its builder, Lyn McSpadden, that I still play as my favourite instrument. Eric Nagler (Martha Beers' husband), Jan Burda and I opened the first folklore centre in Toronto back in those days. Marty did her pottery in the basement. Now I am far away from North American folk life, but exploring the extremely rich Chinese folk culture, as a teacher in China. Having seen this site it did rekindle memories of so many happy experiences with the wonderful people you have all been writing about.
Buzz Chertkoff, now a/k/a Buzz of the Orient.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: MaineDog
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:05 PM

I attended several Fox Hollow festivals, and remember having seen Janet and other Beers family members perform. F.H. was my introduction to folk music, where my first wife Linda took me to see if I would dig it.
I did, although I never aspired to be a "folk" performer, I greatly enjoy participating and singing at festivals.

The Beers family has always been dear to me, although I don't know them personally, their music is something I reserve for really special times of reflection and contemplation. I am truly sorry to hear this news.
MD


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Subject: RE: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
From: GUEST,Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
Date: 20 Mar 16 - 11:52 PM

I met Bob Beers in 1963 in Springfield, Missouri, along with Evelyn and daughter Marti. Later while living in St. Louis I met Janet who taught me the song "The Wee Herd's Whistle" which I had heard Bob sing. She was a grand lady, and I felt so privileged to know her. May she liven up the Heavenly Band.


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