Mrs. Beverly Darnell Washburn, 84, of Potsdam, passed away on Feb. 25, 2015 at the Riverledge Home in Ogdensburg.
Calling hours will be at the Seymour Funeral Home in Potsdam on Sat., Feb. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Dr. Robert and Beverly Washburn Scholarship Fund at the Crane School at SUNY Potsdam.
Beverly was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Robert B, Washburn in 2013.
She is survived by a son, Brooks A. Washburn of Potsdam; a daughter, Roberta Brett Scharf of Potsdam; and four grandchildren, Wendy (Andy) Scharf Corcione of Albany, Eric Scharf of Kirkland, WA, Lindsey Washburn of New York City, and Blake Washburn of Albany.
Beverly Washburn was born on Jan. 11, 1931 in Rushville Indiana, the fourth of six children of Bellville and Norabel Darnell. She graduated as valedictorian from Rushville High School in 1949.
She enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed in San Antonio, TX from 1949 until 1953. She was a founding member of the Women’s Air Force band, as tuba player, which formed in 1951 and performed until it’s merging with the men’s band in 1960. In San Antonio, she met and married Robert B. Washburn, also in the US Air Force in San Antonio.
She moved to Potsdam in 1954 with Robert (composer and Dean Emeritus of the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam) and was the “other half” of all the personal, professional, and musical accomplishments they both achieved over their lifetimes. Beverly received her BA in 1963 and MA in 1968 from SUNY Potsdam.
Beverly was a fifth and sixth grade Social Studies teacher at Potsdam Central School from 1966 until retirement in 1986.
Travel was their personal and professional passion, visiting over 76 countries on six continents in the course of their careers both for pleasure and for research. Extensive travel in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Orient, South America, Africa, and Australia. Overseas engagements included visits to Jordan as the guest of Queen Noor, a six-month stay in Cairo at the American University, six months in London including guest at Buckingham Palace,
Beverly accompanied Robert to musical performances of Robert’s compositions at the White House during the Kennedy administration, Lincoln Center in NYC, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and many others.
Beverly was always supportive of the arts in the community, particularly the Orchestra of Northern New York, the Community Performance Series, and the Met Live performances at the Potsdam Roxy Theater.
Beverly was a member of the Potsdam Museum Board and the St. Lawrence County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) where she served as treasurer for several years. She was well known for her dinner parties serving international foods to her guests with the music and the table settings from around the world.