More than 100 friends, family and community members came together to remember and celebrate Sunday at First Congregational Church.
Those in attendance shared one common denominator: Their lives were touched by Beverlie Buck Mayer.
Mayer, 92, joined her "beloved" husband, Jack, Oct. 9., in thecomfort of her family and caregivers at Stein Hospice.
"Beverlie Buck Mayer was a victim of identity theft over the past 10 years," friend Nancy Linenkugel said. "She was the victim of Alzheimer's disease. We are here today to celebrate her legacy and the love she had for those around her."
Mayer, married her husband in 1938 and together they raised four children, Lynn, Jackie (Townsend), Beth (Swailes) and Jim.
While maintaining her family, Mayer taught junior high school music in Monroeville, Milan and Sandusky for more than 40 years.
She also contributed to Sandusky's musical heritage through private piano and voice lessons, her work with choirs and choruses and her role as director at theCongregational Church for 33 years and the Sandusky College Women's Chorus.
Sunday afternoon, Linenkugel, Reverend Lenore Kure, friends and family, including her 9 grandchildren and 13 grandchildren, spoke of Mayer, her contributions and her loving personality while the Firelands Chorus and Sandusky High School Keynotes sang some of her favorite tunes.
Having both choirs sing was symbolic to Mayer's life achievements.
In 1933, at the tender age of 17, Mayer helped found and was the first member of the Sandusky High School A Cappella Choir and in 1958, at the age of 42, she founded the Firelands Chorus. She remained director until herretirement in 1988.
"Mother had a strong influence on the community," Townsend. "So many people knew her because they had her as a teacher, she'sSandusky's mother of choral music. So many people have come up to me over the years saying, 'I had your mother as a teacher, she was so instrumental in my life.' She was always so positive, encouraged everyone, not only her students. She just loved everyone."
Mayer was also active outside of Sandusky.
She directed the 250-voiceChildren's Choir for the NorthCentral Festival of Chorister's Guild, the Adult Choir of the International Grand Chapter Triennial Assembly of Eastern Stars, directed the Ohio Honors Chorals, which toured Europe during the 1960s and '70s, and directed andproduced the Miss Ohio Pageantfor four years, following herdaughter's (Mayer-Townsend) Miss America crowning in 1963.
"She was simply an amazing woman, mentor, teacher and friend," former student Marie Thomas, Sandusky said. "She was my teacher long ago in junior high school. She was always encouraging, telling those who didn't quite hit the high notes how wonderful they were doing. She'll be sorely missed."
William Miller Townsend, Mayer's grandson, said it's impossible to think of only a few wonderful memories of hisgrandmother.
A few included the sound of music that always filled the home and instilled the "appreciation of music" in her family and thecollection of soap in an upstairs room
There were at least 200 different kinds from every hotel in America," Townsend said, chuckling. "Even when we didn't think they were going anywhere, there would be more and more soaps, it kept growing. Another memory we have is of her and our grandfather sitting on the living room couch holding hands like teenagers."
Linenkugel said Mayer's work isn't finished.
"The heavenly choir has gained a new director," she said. "Our task is to make the next performance in our lives a tribute to her love and her nurturing spirit. She's truly an icon. We are truly blessed to have known her."