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“Gretchen Will, as I knew her, taught me paino from age 5-15 in Yucca Valley. Since I wasn't too good, I would often ask her if she would play me...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Heidi Sheridan - Toms River. , NJ

“I had the great pleasure of working and performing with Gretchen several times. I know that her work on "The Messiah", in particular, was a labor of...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Neil Overbay - Joshua Tree, CA

“We knew Gretchen as a valued member of the Hi-Desert Chorus. I appreciated having Gretchen as my Assistant Director. She was an amazing musician and...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Bill & Stephanie Barrett - CA


Gretchen M. Sylwester passed away peacefully on March 31, 2012 at the Lawrence (KS) Memorial Hospital. She was born September 2, 1935 in Two Rivers, WI, to Leonard and Gertrude (Krueger) Poe.. With her family she moved to Los Angeles in 1951, enjoying especially playing and performing on the piano. On July 29, 1956, she married Richard Will. They had four children, Kathy Burzell(deceased), Rebecca Campbell, Fullerton, CA and Jonathan Will and Sarah Neal both of Yucca Valley, CA. On December 12, 2009, she married Jim Sylwester in Lawrence, KS, where they lived nearly 10 months each year, spending January and March in Yucca Valley. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Judith Ann Poe Herrington and Rachel Brewer. For many years Gretchen gave piano and voice lessons in Yucca Valley, and was a church organist and choir director. She was most grateful to have had the opportunity to direct Handel's Messiah in Yucca Valley, to participate in Bible study groups and to be a member of Agape.

Servcies will be held at Wiefels Funeral Chapel in Yucca Valley Saturday, 4/7, at 11:00 a.m. Graveside Services will follow at 29 Palms Public Cemetery. Officiant is Reverend Jonathan Brewer. Memorials may be given to the ministry or to a charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wiefels.com. (Arrangements, Wiefels Funeral Services)