Mary Kay Easty
December 22, 1936 - January 18, 2011
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First Congregational U.C.C.
724 E. South River Street
Appleton, WI 54915
Saturday 1/22, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
First Congregational U.C.C.
724 E. South River Street
Appleton, WI 54915
Saturday 1/22, 11:00 am
Wichmann Funeral Home
537 N. Superior Street
Appleton, WI 54911
920-739-1231 | Map

Mary Kay Easty, 74, a widely respected church music director and organist, died on Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis. Known for her commitment to outstanding church music programs and her own remarkable musicianship, Mary Kay will be missed by the communities she served and her friends around the country. Mary Kay was born on December 22,…

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Scott Sigman left a message on February 21, 2011:
Dave (Mack) and Allan - May you and your family find solace in the fond memories, the thoughts and the prayers of friends and acquaintances, across the miles and over time. Be well as you reflect on the family's good times over the years, in the face of this loss, and as time marches on. Warmly and Most Sincerely, Scott
Robert and Andrea Bauman left a message on February 7, 2011:
To Dwight and the Easty Family: We were so shocked and saddened to hear of Mary Kay's illness and death. We are in Arizona now and won't be able to attend the funeral. Her music added immeasurably to the Sunday services and other events and we will never forget her. Our sons join us in sending condolences, as they well remember singing and playing their instruments at her requests. Flights of angels will indeed sing her to her rest!
John Fuller left a message on January 24, 2011:
My thoughts and prayers are with Dwight and the Easty family. May time ease your sorrow; you have many beautiful memories to bring you comfort and peace. Mary Kay was a special person that everyone loved and admired. Dwight and Mary Kay were the perfect couple. Now she is with you as an angel; interceding on your behalf. God bless you.
Paula Ducas left a message on January 24, 2011:
Mary Kay could make ordinary people do extraordinary things. She trusted that good musicians would always do their best or better. She took risks truly believing in a positive outcome. Personally she was fragile, vulnerable, and human, but would not let that interfere with the work she wanted to do. Mary Kay provided some of the most memorable and interesting moments of my musical career. Mary Kay, I will miss your kind encouragement, pleading phone calls, and warm hugs.
Vonne Riehle left a message on January 23, 2011:
My thoughts and prayers are with Mary Kay's family during this difficult times. I feel so blessed to have been a part of her musical career as a choir member and part of a wonder trip to England. We all have music in our hearts, but Mary Kay lived in her music.
Peace of mind is a call away. We're here when you need us most.
Beverly Ambroso left a message on January 22, 2011:
Dear Dwight, I have just learned of Mary Kay's passing and want to express my sympathies to you and your family. I worked at UCC for many years, as the custodian and did consider Mary Kay to be a very wonderful friend. This world will be a much sadder place without her wonderful smile and lovely personality. I truly enjoyed being around her at work and loved her music. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Beverly Ambroso
Teresa (Kramer) Werner left a message on January 22, 2011:
My condolences to you all. Wanted to thank you for your neighborly care of my parents old oak trees in the yard. I won't ever forget the beautiful songs you whistled while I mowed the yard. Music has a way of ministering to the heart which definitely caught on in your family. As you remember Mary Kay's music, keep the happy tunes alive on your lips and in your heart. She would have wanted it that way.
Ingrid Haugen left a message on January 22, 2011:
I was one of Mary Kay's hired section leaders while attending Lawrence University, and for a time I directed the children's choir. It was an honor to work with a church music director who had such standards of excellence. I will always remember those special Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings under Mary Kay's baton. My thoughts are with her family, and I'm very sorry that I couldn't make it to Wisconsin for the service.
Dr Robert and Helen Dedmon left a message on January 21, 2011:
Dear family of Mary Kay-our thoughts prayers are with you all. We knew her well for many years as a fellow church musician and teacher. We are in Hong Kong with daughter, so can't make the funeral-but know you are in ourr thoughts.
Cathy Statz, LU '96 left a message on January 21, 2011:
As a Lawrence Scholar in the early/mid-90s, I felt lucky to be welcomed so warmly into the Congo community - and especially so by Mary Kay. She made each student feel at home, whether in the rehearsal room and choir loft or through her generous invitations to join her and Dwight for supper, or for a homestay before or after the Lawrence term. Fiercely energetic, imminently professional, and effusively hospitable, Mary Kay was an important musical and personal influence during my time at Lawrence. She will be greatly missed.
Carole (Kramer) Gulbransen left a message on January 21, 2011:
Dear Dwight and Family, I was deeply saddened to hear of Mary Kay's passing. I am very thankful, for you both have been such wonderful neighbors to our family all these years. Mary Kay has inspired us with her passion ..... no doubt music was her gift of Love. God's Peace to You & Your Family, Carole (Kramer) Gulbransen
Jane R. Terry left a message on January 21, 2011:
My deepest sympathies go to Ike and the whole family. It was a privilege to work with Mary Kay for 10 years at First Congregational Church. Her enthusiasm, outstanding musicianship, warmth and collegiality made it a pleasure to know her and to love her. I benefitted personally from her support and friendship on many occasions and deeply grieve her passing. Mary Kay was a truly gifted child of God who served the church with great faithfulness and excellence. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Mary Louise Sevetson left a message on January 21, 2011:
Don and I were always greeted warmly when we visited Appleton, and were happy to renew Mary Kay's acquaintance when she visited Portland. Her music was greatly appreciated, and her programs held up as models. What an amazing woman!
Annette & John Grunseth left a message on January 21, 2011:
Dwight and family, When the muse of music met passion, it became Mary Kay. Here's a memory-- "Remembering late nights at church: Shoes broke the silence, clicking across the ice-hard marble floor, as she slipped into church to rehearse -- her shadow sliding onto the hardwood bench. The black shawl of night draping her back. Her cheeks, flushed pink, music surged through feet and fingers, sprinting across multiple keyboards bringing to life all those little black notes running off the page. The pages of her organ books were well-worn where fingers snapped fast turns to keep up with runaway notes. Layers of "Toccata and Fugue", “Widor Toccata” and "Sweet Sixteenths" dared her to chase the last phrase -- on time, to the top of the next page. That’s how she practiced --weaving exquisite music into the tapestry of the night." Her best time was night, wasn't it? We share your grief, yet celebrate her great life. Love Annette & John
Milton Staskal left a message on January 21, 2011:
How fortunate Immanuel United Church of Christ, Neenah was to have the musical gifts of Mary Kay for a year "in her retirement". She was pleased with "our little Moller--what a lovely instrument" --BUT she couldn't have been as happy as we were to have her as our "volunteer organist" -- what a gift for a struggling congregation! --Milton Staskal, Inntentional Interim Pastor
Holly Rusch-Clothier left a message on January 20, 2011:
Dwight, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mary Kay. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Holly Rusch-Clothier
Scott Spiegelberg left a message on January 20, 2011:
Mary Kay was an inspiration to me, with her impeccable musicianship and generous spirit. I would not be the musician I am without her encouragement and guidance. My favorite memories are of performing Christmas eve services with her, as she leapt from organ to harpsichord to piano to podium, juggling sheet music along with musicians of all ages. She would sometimes act frantic, but the music was always glorious and she would lead us wonderfully. My prayers are with Mary Kay's family, even as I picture her elbowing an angel off of the organ bench show she can whip the heavenly choir into shape.
Rebecca (Marsh) Redmann LU'95 left a message on January 20, 2011:
Mary Kay was an inspiration to so many of us at the Lawrence Conservatory; we sang and played under her direction, and learned so much from her. I will always remember the four years I spent in her choir at "The Congo," and have shamelessly adopted so many of her rehearsal techniques with my own choir in Madison. She, and her music, lives on through those of us who were lucky enough to work with her.
Becky Harris Kaehr left a message on January 20, 2011:
Mary Kay will always have a special place in my heart - what wonderful experiences under her leadership - I consider myself very blessed to have had her for a music director.
Ann (Harris) Taly left a message on January 20, 2011:
The news of Mary Kay's death saddened my heart and brought back a rush of fond memories of her musical guidance in my youth. She was tireless in her efforts to bring us all together in her mission and made us all better for it. I credit her for giving me vocal lessons at an early age as well as some of my earliest experiences of performing in small and large ensembles. May there be a HUGE Moller organ awaiting her in heaven!
Peace of mind is a call away. We're here when you need us most.
Ben Bayer left a message on January 20, 2011:
Dwight and family, I was saddened to hear of the death of Mary Kay, which of course comes as a real loss to my parents, as well. Seeing Mary Kay and you, Dwight, over for dinner was always a highlight in a visit home to Appleton. Reading her obituary, I am struck by the extent of Mary Kay's presence in the artistic community in Appleton. Surely there are few who can draw together so many diverse strands in a place like this. I know she will be missed. Ben
KrisAnne Weiss left a message on January 20, 2011:
I am so sorry for this loss to Mary Kay's family, to the community, and to the world of music at large. Her talent, energy, and supportive spirit will be greatly missed.
Susan Harris left a message on January 20, 2011:
I will always remember how she was able to pull together amazing music with many musicians and very little practice. I never looked forward to her twisting my arm to play oboe or ring bells or sing, but I never regretted saying yes. The music we produced under her leadership was always wonderful.
Rachel Edie Warrick left a message on January 20, 2011:
I have many warm memories of singing in the choir with Mary Kay at the helm. It was such a valuable experience for me to sing at F.C.U.C.C. during my time at Lawrence, and I appreciated all the kindness and generosity she showed towards the quartet. I will always remember the lovely and delicious meals we shared at her house. She will be missed and remembered.
Steve Clausing left a message on January 20, 2011:
Dwight and family, I am so sorry to hear of Mary Kay's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Knowing and working with Mary Kay was a pleasure and I have many wonderful memories of those times.
Randi Madisen left a message on January 20, 2011:
Mary Kay was a force of nature when she was organizing a musical event, and I don’t think anyone could say no to her, no matter how early in the morning or how many rehearsals. She was a mentor and a wonderful musician. After moving to Minnesota, I was hard pressed to find a church home with music as satisfying as what I experienced growing up. I will miss her.
Shahzore Shah left a message on January 20, 2011:
Dear Dwight and family, Thinking of you and your deep loss this week. I feel extremely fortunate to have shared several years of music-making with Mary Kay during my time in Appleton. She was extremely hospitable from my freshman year singing in the choirs to graduation year by which point I was also working with the children's choirs. Working with her at F.C.U.C.C. meant extending the rigorous training we received at the Lawrence Conservatory to the realm of liturgical music and also offered students the chance to actively participate in a warm, thriving community outside of school. She will be remembered with deep admiration. Thank you for sharing her with us.
John Schwandt left a message on January 19, 2011:
Talent is a gift, but excellence is a choice. Mary Kay's life was a testament to this statement. Her energy and unmistakable presence will be sorely missed by all who knew her. When I learned that she would be the Director of Music at my home parish, Zion Lutheran Church, I was overjoyed that Zion would have someone of her caliber leading their song. As the consultant for the organ project of which she was an ardent supporter, I will be forever grateful for her devotion and care freely given to the good people at Zion. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. My heartfelt sympathy to her family and legions of dear friends.
Wichmann Funeral Home & Crematories left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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