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Patricia A. "Pat" Gensemer
Patricia Anne Webster Gensemer, Bloomsburg, died Thursday, December 10th, 2020, just days before her 93rd birthday. She was born December 14, 1927, in Syracuse, New York, to Rev. Bradford Gray Webster and Irene Anderson Stryker Webster.
Pat graduated from Gowanda, NY High School in 1945 and from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, in 1949. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Pat sang in Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, NYC, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, with symphonic orchestras under famous conductors such as Bruno Walter, Eugene Ormandy and Zubin Mehta.
Pat moved to Bloomsburg following her college graduation in 1949 where she began to fulfill her call as a music minister at Wesley United Methodist Church on Market Street. She met her husband, George Gensemer, while shopping for meat at the Gensemer family butcher shop. They were married on August 4, 1950. Except for a brief time serving as minister of music at Berwick First Methodist Church from 1952-1954, Pat returned to Wesley UMC in 1955 and remained there until she retired from her position in 2016. Despite her departure from Wesley, she quickly returned to her role as part-time organist by serving the Lightstreet UMC until January of this year.
During her tenure at Wesley Church, Pat's choirs were well known for their music. At times, she taught as many as seven choirs and ensembles in a season. Often attending choral music workshops and seminars, she provided many opportunities for choir participants to be taught by other choir directors, including top choir experts, Helen and John Kemp, throughout PA, NJ and even St. Olaf, Minnesota.
Pat directed the first English Handbell Choir in the area in the 1970's, and took the high school-aged Wesley Ringers on a lengthy trip to Florida performing many bell concerts throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, including Lake Buena Vista. During the trip, the choir attended the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers festival in South Carolina. Many other festivals throughout Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and Bucknell Univ., PA, were attended by The Wesley Ringers, the Agape Ringers and Bells in Bloom.
As founder and director of the Bloomsburg Bicentennial Choir in 2002, Pat drew singers from many churches in the area. Annual concerts were always eagerly awaited and attended by hundreds of people. In addition, the choir had many performances at the Bloomsburg Fair, in David Millard’s programs honoring our Veterans of many wars, and in cooperation with BTE’s Flood Stories.
Being an accomplished organist, Pat was often called upon to play for various civil and community events such as high school graduations, weddings and funerals. For the past 38 years, she was always at the ready to provide music for funerals handled by the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home.
In 2010, Pat was chosen as one of the Women of the Year for Columbia-Montour County and was also honored by receiving the Bishop Frederick Wertz award from former Central Pennsylvania United Methodist Conference.
Pat’s family and extended family were her dearest joy and pleasure. She attended countless sports and musical activities of her children and grandchildren. The family table was always large with delicious foods during holiday mealtimes. Throughout her entire life, she spent many-a-summer at Sodus Bay, NY, with aunts and uncles and a myriad of cousins. Always passionate about her ancestry, she was a former member of DAR through Capt. Thomas Sawyer of Massachusetts, and was extremely proud of her Mayflower heritage as a direct descendent of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. She enjoyed talking about her experiences working in the canning factory with the German POWs as a young teen during WW2.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband George, on September 3, 2008, after 58 years of marriage; a brother, Army Air Force 1ST Lieut. Bradford Webster, Jr, who lost his life while flying Strategic Air Command, Newfoundland, CANADA in 1955; and a son, Daniel Gensemer, in 2014.
She is survived by children Thomas (Cynthia), Danville; John (Judi), Bradford (Diane) all of Bloomsburg; Georgianne Hess (Donald), Montoursville; David (Penny) and (Jennifer) widow of Daniel, all of Bloomsburg; grandchildren: Julianne Kuhns, Thomas II, Chad (Jasmyne), Shelby Crawford (Adam), Rance, Owen, Isaac, Emma and Sydney; step-grandchildren: Kelly Beyers-Yushko (Bill), and Nathan, Hans and Christopher Hess; great-grandchildren: Gaige, Asia and Willow Gensemer; Jaxson Kuhns, Braylon and Taylor Crawford; step-great-granddaughter, Adeline Hess; brother, Donald Webster (Mary Lynne) and four nephews.
During whatever leisure time was afforded her Pat enjoyed reading, coloring and doing word puzzles. She delighted in caring for her devoted pug, Benji. She felt blessed to have music in her life and cherished the fellowship and close friendships and affection in her choirs. She will be greatly missed by many.
Memorial Services will be scheduled at a time to be announced in 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W. Kriner Inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market Street, Bloomsburg.
When my husband, Dale, retired from ministry & we moved to White Hall we decided to attend Wesley UMC. His parents had attended there and Dale would accompany them whenever he was home from college. He knew Pat very well and thought so very much of her. We both joined the choir & so enjoyed Pat & her choice of music & her gracious personality. Dale died this past Mar. 17, 2020 at 91 yrs. old. We also had a beautiful 58 yrs. of marriage.
My deep sympathy to the whole family. Pat was an angel waiting to go home! Judy Neufer, Greenville, NC
Judith Neufer Jan 4 2021 12:00 AM
To the family of Pat! My Thoughts and Prayers are with all of you! Oh my what a Loving and talented servant of God Pat was! I always enjoyed the many concerts at Wesley Methodist Church and loved it when she would come to Catawissa First United Methodist Church and played our Organ when Glenn was away! We were so Blessed to have her play for us! I imagine she is playing up in Heaven right now!
Naomi Eveland Dec 22 2020 12:00 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gensemer Family. I have many fond memories of Pat and her generosity to my family during my 11 years of employment at Gensemers. Her light will always shine in the hearts of her family and those she made feel like her family!
Leane Yarnell Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM
It was my distinct pleasure to have engaged in the Wesley United Methodist Church choir under the direction of Ms. Gensemer. As a former Westminster Choir alumnus, participating under Pat's musical leadership was inspiring and a special treasure to experience. Pat will be missed by many who knew her, worked with her and sung under her musical direction. Your work is done here on earth Pat. The angels in heaven need you to lead them in glorious song to honor God's work. Thank you for giving many who served under you, the gift of music.
Billie Blakeney Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM
Mrs. Gensemer will be greatly missed. She is just one of the many people who shared Christ with me and helped me become the man of God I have become. She instilled a love of God and music in me and I am forever grateful for her gifts, leadership, and friendship. I am so glad and blessed that we remained in contact with one another through email and I would always try to visit her when I was in town. Pat, God has used you to bless me in so many ways and I will never forget you! I know you have heard the words from our Lord "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Love and miss you!
Scott Kinney Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM
Fabulous obituary in today's paper representing Pat Gensemer's life. Her accomplishments were unknown to many Pat was not one to wear her achievements on a banner. Pat was known to be a very humble professional. Even at the highest points of her career, Pat never took advantage of the lime light. Always insisting the respective choir earned most of the recognition.
As one of Pats choir members for decades, I remember coming into Sunday's sanctuary and feeling that the Holy Spirit was truly with us.
For me that came from Pats playing If you knew Pat you knew that Pat never played notes - she made music
I'll forever remember sitting watching Pat play the organ. She was in her own world. Swaying and smiling to her music
An inspiration to so many and kept Wesley Church together thru many changes. Pat was a stable force to Wesley .
Always an open door to talk and pray with anyone.
Pat sacrificed much of her loved family time to be with her church family. Her precious Wesley Choir.
i am proud to have know Pat, been in her Wesley Choirs, and appreciated her sincere care for my well-being and that of my family.
Pat indeed will be greatly missed. I truly loved her and what she brought to my life - the joy music.
Always in my heart - Love Vickie
Vickie Butler Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM
Pat was always like a second mom to me, especially after my mom passed away. She made me feel like her daughter, as I was one of the Barton girls. I went through all her singing choirs since I was 5 or 6 all the way up to the Sanctuary Choir. I also rang handbells for several years and went to some of her destinations for playing handbells in concerts. I will cherish her memory forever. She is now in heaven with all the couples before her who played pinochle or bridge, I can't remember. They always had lots of fun. I'll miss you Pat.
Jane Barton Hack Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM
Sympathy and prayers are with you
Wade and Molly Gottstein Dec 16 2020 12:00 AM