March 26, 1939 – March 9, 2019
Beloved Manhattan music teacher Kathryn Seigle died March 9 at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. She was 79.
Ms. Seigle had been ill with chronic lung disease for some time after having been successfully treated for lymphoma. She passed away following emergency surgery.
Born in Springfield, Missouri, on March 26, 1939, to Claude G. Davis, a railroad brakeman and conductor, and Edith Davis, a teacher from a large farming family, Ms. Seigle taught music for most of her life, including as an 18-year-old to high school students. She had graduated from Thayer Senior High School in Thayer, Missouri, at the age of 16. Ms. Seigle pursued music and violin as an undergraduate and completed her studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She later obtained a Master’s degree in education from Southwest Missouri State University.
Ms. Seigle taught music in Michigan and Missouri public schools before moving in 1978 to New York City, where she was an elementary music teacher at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School for more than 30 years. She instructed hundreds of children in piano and violin, as well as choral and instrumental music. “Her warmth and knowledge touched generations of students and their families,” wrote colleague Lorraine Foley in an email announcing Ms. Seigle’s passing to the Columbia Grammar faculty. “I know she left lasting impressions on all those who were lucky enough to know her. She was an intelligent woman and a dear friend.”
In addition to teaching at Columbia Grammar, Ms. Seigle worked at Harlem School of the Arts, Bloomingdale School of Music, and the Brooklyn Friends School at different points in her career. Aside from her brief foray to teach in Brooklyn, she was firmly attached to her Upper West Side neighborhood near Columbia University.
When not teaching or kibitzing with neighborhood friends or colleagues, Ms. Seigle’s life was devoted to her children and grandchildren. She took a sabbatical for a year to care for her daughter, Carolynne St. Pierre, and that daughter’s three children when Carolynne became ill with cancer. Otherwise, Ms. Seigle was a regular babysitter for her six grandchildren when they were young.
Ms. Seigle is survived by two daughters, Sara Matters of Brattleboro, Vermont, and Laura Seigle of Manhattan, New York. Daughter Carolynne St. Pierre passed away in 2007. Ms. Seigle is also survived by a sister, Caroline Stoessinger, of Manhattan, niece Anna Stoessinger of Manhattan, and six grandchildren: Emma Matters of Manhattan; Zachary Matters of Scottsdale, Arizona; Melissa Thone of Newport Beach, California; Brian Thone of Boston, Massachusetts; Elijah St. Pierre of Chichester, New Hampshire; and Sofia Cummins of Croton, New York.
A memorial service will be held at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th St, at 5pm on Thursday March 14th. This will be followed by a reception hosted by Caroline Stoessinger.
A graveside service and interment will take place Saturday March 16th at 11am at Blossom Hill Cemetery, North State St., in Concord, NH. A reception will follow at The Common Man.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
- Kathryn Seigle Thursday, March 14, 2019