Maryalice Weller Seaholts, age 93, passed away peacefully September 24, 2020. She was buried at Standing Rock Cemetery, Kent, Ohio, with private services on September 28, 2020. Maryalice was born March 7, 1927 in Shelby, Ohio to John and Leola Weller.
She attended public school in Plymouth, Ohio and Shelby, Ohio. While attending public school and college she also had a Church Choir, worked in a bank and even as a bookkeeper for a lumber yard.
She attended Ohio State University and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Education and Music with majors in Piano and Voice and a minor in Organ.
She was chosen as a member of the Symphonic Choir which performed while at OSU, at many locations through-out the state. Also, while at OSU, Maryalice was a member of the “Flying Farmers” one of the University’s early flight training programs.
In 1950, Maryalice was hired by the Kent Board of Education to be the Music Teacher for the Elementary Schools as a traveling teacher (at an annual salary of $2100). She taught at Central, Depeyster, Brady Lake, Franklin and Longcoy Schools over the years – plus others from time to time. She had programs everywhere, with approximately 1000 students weekly, most of whom she knew by name.
For eight years during the 50’s, while teaching, she was also the Music Director for the First Christian Church in Ravenna, Ohio and had an outstanding Choir and Music program. In her first year of teaching Maryalice bought a new piano for $900, which was much of her first year’s salary, so that she could play and give lessons. In 2012, Maryalice was inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame for Major Contributions. Maryalice still accompanied vocal music performances at Stanton Middle School at 90 years of age.
Maryalice was a member of Kappa Gamma – a Teachers’ honorary. She was also a member of the “JayCee Janes”, the auxiliary to the Kent JayCees. She was a nine year member of, and played the piano, and was a soloist with “Tony’s Angels” (Dr. Anthony Silvidi-Director). The band performed its music for local services, like Tower 43, the Kent Way Center, the Portage County Home, Society for the Blind, various Hospital Groups, etc.
Maryalice was President of the Kent State University Orchestra Society for 23 years, a town and gown relationship that has given to exemplary students in order to bring them and assist them in the College of Music at KSU. It was important to her to keep an Orchestra exposure at KSU so that a great union of community and University could be created and maintained. Since the inception of the Orchestra Society, over $880,000 in scholarships have been awarded, which has supported over 650 students. Maryalice and her husband, Gordon, set up two Charitable Remainder Trusts for the benefit of Kent State University through the KSU Foundation. A scholarship trust was established in her name to assist aspiring musicians in the KSU orchestra.
She was a past President of Coterie II, a small Literary Circle which has carried forward for over 100 years and helps to preserve the historic Patton House in Kent. She was a member of the Kent State Music Committee, Chestnut Society, and Serosis, which was a public service club to charities. Maryalice
was past President of Delta Omicron, an international Music Fraternity organization that promotes and supports excellence in music and musicianship. She worked for many years with “Meals on Wheels”, who helped feed the elderly and the housebound. Maryalice was a member of the choir at the United Methodist Church of Kent and past Chairman of the Music Committee. She was a Member of the Kent State University Alumni Association and a Life Member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association. In addition to music, Maryalice loved bowling, sewing, crossword puzzles, boating, watching all sports, and beautiful sunsets.
Maryalice is survived by her loving husband Gordon of 68 years. Her son Mark, and daughter in-law Dee Anna Seaholts of Kent , son Charles Seaholts of Kent , daughter Leigh Ann Kielty of Placerville CA., loving grandchildren Brendon Kielty of Placerville CA, Marek Seaholts and Maren Seaholts of Kent.
A private service was held at Standing Rock Cemetery and it is the family’s hope to have a celebration of Maryalice’s life at a future date when people can be COVID safe.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the KSU Orchestra Society at www.ksuorchestrasociety.org.
Services in Care of Bissler & Sons Funeral Home, 628 W Main Street, Kent, Ohio 44240.
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