Mudcat Café message #2400453 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113109   Message #2400453
Posted By: Charlie Baum
29-Jul-08 - 01:02 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Janet Beers Boyer (July 25, 2008)
Subject: Obit: Janet Boyer (July 25, 2008)
David Shewmaker just gave me the news. Janet Boyer was the daughter sister of Bob Beers and wife of Bill Boyer I'm posting the obituary from the St. Louis Post-Disptach:

ST. LOUIS : Folk musician, founder of Music Folk store

07/27/2008

Janet Beers Boyer, a folk musician who, with her husband, founded two folk music hubs in Webster Groves in the 1970s, died Friday (July 25, 2008) at her Kirkwood home after a 6-year battle with cancer. She was 80.

In 1973, Mrs. Boyer and her husband, Jonas William "Bill" Boyer Jr., who died in 1983, founded the Music Folk music store at 8015 Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves. The store specialized in acoustic and rare folk instruments.

The couple opened the Focal Point music venue and coffee house two doors down in 1976. The two businesses quickly became gathering places for musicians and folk enthusiasts and remain so today under different owners. Music Folk remains at the same location, and the Focal Point is currently at 2720 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood.

In the early years, the couple housed and fed many touring folk artists who made the Focal Point a regular stop on their tours.

"She liked the do-it-yourself, rootsy aspect of folk culture," said Andy Ploof, current co-owner of Music Folk. "She was very interested in American cultural and ethnic history, so for her it was all about carrying on traditions to future generations."

Before opening Music Folk, the couple spent many years playing in a family band with their children, with Mrs. Boyer on banjo. The family performed extensively here and nationwide at summer festivals. They also founded the St. Louis Folk Music Society, organizing large gatherings of music making around town.

Mrs. Boyer was born in Sproul, Pa., and moved to St. Louis as a small child, at which time she was trained on the cello. She and received a bachelor's degree from Park College near Kansas City where she met her husband. They married in 1950 and settled in Kirkwood.

Mrs. Boyer first caught the folk bug while sitting at her grandfather's side as he played Irish fiddle tunes and sang folk songs. Her brother, Bob Beers, also became a prominent musician who started New York's Fox Hollow Folk Festival of Traditional Arts. Mrs. Boyer and her family performed at the festival in the 1960s and 1970s.

She continued to play cello, playing for many years in the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Kirkwood symphonies. She also was a longtime volunteer for Reading Is Fundamental and was an elder at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, 11155 Clayton Road in Frontenac. Burial will be private.

Among the survivors are two daughters, Susan Boyer Haley of Clearwater, Fla., and Rebecca Boyer Hall of High Ridge; two sons, Jonas William Boyer III of Traverse City, Mich., and John Michael Boyer of Kirkwood; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Music and Worship Committee at Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, 11155 Clayton Road, Frontenac, Mo. 63131-2548; or to a charity of the donor's choice.