Date of BirthNovember 11, 1929

CARLENE ROSE NEIHART Obituary

Date of BirthNovember 11, 1929

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Date of PassingJanuary 13, 2016

CARLENE ROSE NEIHART Obituary

from Kent, Missouri, United States

Carlene Rose Neihart passed away on December 13, 2016. Visitation will be held at the Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri, Saturday, January 7th, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., followed by a memorial service in the sanctuary, at 11am in the morning. Carlene was born on November 11, 1929 to W. Earl and Florene Schifferdecker in Girard, Kansas. She attended school there and won many prizes for her piano playing. She graduated as high school valedictorian at the age of 16. She then attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas and graduated in 1950 with a degree in piano and organ. That summer, she married James L. Neihart and they made their home in Girard. In February, 1952, Jim was called to the army and served as assistant director of the 101st Airborne Division band. They lived in Sturgis, Kentucky, where Carlene taught high school music at the Sturgis High School. After leaving his two year army service, they moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where they attended graduate school at Kansas University. While there, she received her master's degree in organ and partially finished her doctorate. She continued her studies for several more years and also attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She was coached privately by two well- known French organists, Andre Marchal, and Jean Langlais. They then moved to Kansas City and lived there from then on. They had three sons, Dr. Robert Earl Neihart, David James Neihart and Carl William Neihart. When the boys were in school, Carlene began her concert pipe organ teacher and recitalist career. She was very involved with her sons schooling and various athletic activities. She was a den mother, school room mother, and YMCA board member. She was organist for 17 years at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, organist and director of music for 23 years at the Central Presbyterian Church, and organist at Unity on the Plaza for 8 years. At the same time, she was also organist and director of music at the New Reform Temple for 30 years. She had an active career as a concert organist and played over 400 organ recitals in Canada, Europe and all across the United States. These included performances at many of the large cathedrals and churches in New York City and Washington, D. C. She also gave many workshops on organ playing all across the United States and in Canada and Europe. She played organ concerts for six conventions of the American Guild of Organists and was active in their many functions as Dean, sub- Dean, Missouri State Chairperson and other positions. At the 50th reunion of her graduation from Pisttsburg State College in Pittsburg, she played an organ recital at McCray Hall on the R. B. Fisk pipe organ comprising 3100 pipes. She taught organ at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Park University in Parkville, Missouri and Mid-America Nazarene University Graduate School in Olathe, Kansas. She was Artist-in-Residence at that University. Carlene was selected for Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who of American Musicians, Who's Who of Musicians in the World, Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century, International Who's Who in Music and Who's Who of American Keyboard Artists. She was 2003 Kansas City Musician of the Year, the first organist ever selected, and was president of the Kansas City Music Club for three years. She was chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts as the United States of America Solo Recitalist. She was also chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts to represent the United States in nine concerts in the Netherlands, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Dutch-American friendship. Carlene was also chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts to play further organ recitals overseas under the auspices of the American embassies. She was chosen as both Missouri and Kansas touring Artist. Carlene was a member of the EPOCH committee whose first meeting was over 20 years ago, and whose purpose was to ensure planning for Kansas City's new performing arts center which included discussions of a magnificent pipe organ. Carlene is listed with other committee members on a plaque located just outside the left and right doors to the Parterre section in the Kauffman center in Kansas City. Preceding her in death was her son, Carl William Neihart, who died at the age of 33. Also preceding her in death were her parents, W. Earl and Florene Schifferdecker, and a brother Martin Schifferdecker. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, two sons, Robert E. Neihart and his wife, Jane Neihart, David J. Neihart and his wife, Wendy Neihart and 9 grandchildren. They are Jim and Rachael Neihart, Bryan and Martha Neihart, Anna and Adam Lynch, Brent and Rachel Neihart, Braden Neihart, and great- grandson Noah Lynch, and great-granddaughter Nora Neihart. Also surviving is her brother, John Schifferdecker and his wife Carole, and sister-in-law Sandra Schifferdecker all of Girard, Kansas, and many nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Country Club Christian Church. M
This obituary is administered by:
~ Steven Arevalo ~

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