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.