Kathy was born in Paterson, New Jersey to Rev. J. Roger and Nancy Geyer. She lived most of her life in NJ and enjoyed her years as a Preacher’s Kid. She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Rockaway, where her Dad was pastor for 23 years. She played handbells, sang in the choir, and even played the organ there for several years while attending Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education and Masters in Organ Performance.
Kathy was Organist at the First United Methodist Church in Morristown, NJ, for 19 years, before she became Principal Organist for the Benedictine monks at St. Mary’s Abbey, also in Morristown. While there, she played 76 services a month and had 2 assistants who filled in the other services. Kathy enjoyed being able to substitute for Eric Plutz at Princeton U Chapel whenever there was a need, loved playing recitals, subbing for other local churches, accompanying major works for area churches, and keeping her teaching studio of 40 students.
In 2013, Kathy and her husband, Richard Baldwin, moved to Lake Junaluska and live in her parents’ home. Almost immediately upon relocating, Kathy got involved accompanying the Haywood Community Chorus (now the Haywood Choral Society), accepted the position of Organist/Choir Director at Grace Episcopal Church for 3 years, and then became Assistant Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville. In 2016, Kathy became Director of the Haywood Choral Society, where she had the honor of conducting numerous major works and enjoying the chorus increase to over 100 members. Kathy was Associate Director and Accompanist for the Lake Junaluska Singers under the superb leadership of Mary Huff. She also established a music teaching studio in her wonderful music room.
She is survived by her sister, Bonnie Geyer Florek, who has been here at her side since Kathy’s most recent diagnosis.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2022, at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville.
Memorials may be sent to the music program at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville, P.O. Box 838, Waynesville, NC 28786.
The care of Kathy McNeil has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.