Thursday, January 2, 2020

Seavers in the News - Philanthropist Blanche (Ebert) Seaver Died in Los Angeles in 1994

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a weekly feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from The Los Angeles [Calif.] Times newspaper dated 17 April 1994:

The transcription of the article is:

"SEAVER, Blanche Ebert age 102, widow of Frank R. Seaver, passed away on Saturday, April 9, 1994 at her home in Los Angeles where she had lived for 67 years.

"Born Blanche Ebert in Chicago, the tenth child of Norwegian immigrants, she was a musical prodigy who taught piano by age 6.  She was trained at the Chicago Music School and came to Los Angeles to work as a teacher and voice coach at the Egan School of Drama and Music.

"She married Frank R. Seaver on September 16, 1916.  Frank Seaver founded Hydril Company, a prominent worldwide supplier of oilfield goods and services.  Mr. Seaver died in 1964.

"Mrs. Seaver was a composer and pianist.  One of herm ost famous songs was "Calling Me Back to You" written during world War I while Mr. Seaver was serving in the Navy.  She also composed music for the prayer "Just for today," and Irish tenor John McCormack made both songs famous.  In 1919 Mrs. Seaver did a special arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" that was performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra at a memorial concert conducted by Leopold Stokowski in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt.

"Mrs. Seaver was a philanthropist and a major supporter of such California institutions of higher learning as Frank R. Seaver College of Pepperdine University, the University of Southern California, Pomona College, Loyola Marymount University, Claremont McKenna College, and Rockford College.  She also contributed to Harvard School and Don Tosco Technical Institute.

"A patroness of the arts, Mrs. Seaver was active in the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Los Angeles Symphony and Hollywood Bowl associations, the Symphony Patroness Committee, the Los Angeles Pops Orchestra, the Nine O'Clock Players of the Assistance League, and Las Madrinas.

"Mrs. Seaver co-founded the Los Angeles Orphanage Guild.  She also was founding member of the Social Services Auxiliary, and on the Board of Directors of Childrens Hospital.  Mrs. Seaver was honored in 1963 and a Los Angeles Times 'Woman of the Year.'

"Mr. and Mrs. Seaver were members of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and played a significant role in the founding and building of Pilgrim School at the church.

"Funeral services will be held 10am, Monday, April 18 at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, 540 Commonwealth Ave.  A private burial will follow in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale."

The source citation is:

"Blanche Ebert Seaver,The Los Angeles [Calif.] Times newspaper, obituary, Sunday, 17 April 1994, page 316, column 6, Blanche Ebert Seaver   ( : accessed 2 January 2020).

What a fascinating obituary.  A musical prodigy, pianist, song writer and composer, a young Navy wife, a wife of a businessman, and a philanthropist for numerous universities and local charities.  This is a wonderful outcome for a daughter of Norwegian immigrants.

Blanche (Ebert) Seaver was born 15 September 1891 in Chicago, Illinois, and died 9 April 1994 in Los Angeles.  She married Franklin Roger Seaver (1883-1964) on 16 September 1916 in Chicago.  They had no children.

Franklin Roger Seaver was my 4th cousin 4 times removed, with common ancestors of my 7th great-grandparents Joseph and Mary (Read) Seaver.

There are over 10,000 Seaver "stories" in my family tree - this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes the life of a person is fulfilled by music and philanthropy.  I am glad I can honor Blanche (Ebert) Seaver today.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary 
subscription to and have used it extensively to find newspaper articles and obituaries about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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