Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

January 27, 2013

Evelyn Bosker Porter

KENMORE, Wash. — Evelyn Cora Wiltse was born to Clarence H. and Louise (Weinert) Wiltse on Valentine's Day, 1914, in Falls City, Neb., her home until her college graduation. The youngest of the family, she had two sisters, Gertrude Bauer Smith and Mildred Holbein, and two brothers, Sherman Wiltse and Irving F. Wiltse.

Education was very important to the Wiltse family; all the children graduated from college, very unusual for the time.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1936, Evelyn began a teaching career that spanned 30 years. Her early years of teaching were in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Falls City, Neb., and Charlevoix. In 1944 Evelyn accepted a teaching position in Traverse City, which became her home for the next 46 years.

Evelyn married Edwin P. Bosker in 1949, joining Ed and his two teenage daughters, Katherine "Kit" and Freda, and their welcoming extended family. The couple spent 41 happy years together in Traverse City and in 1966 established a winter home in Homestead, Fla. After Ed Bosker's death in 1990, Evelyn relocated to Kenmore, Wash., to live with her sister, Mildred Holbein; she remained in the area for the rest of her life.

Evelyn's musical talents played a central role in her life from her youth, when she won honors as a cellist in high school and college. Throughout her life she played the cello in ensembles and orchestras, and her amazing ability on the piano and organ gave pleasure to family, friends, her church and community wherever she lived. In addition to her gifts of music, Evelyn's great legacy was to the hundreds of students she taught and so positively influenced over her 30-year teaching career.

Throughout her nearly 99 years, Evelyn made and kept many close friends in every place she lived. All who knew her will miss her caring and cheerful presence in their lives.

Evelyn is survived by her stepdaughter, Freda Bosker Sprietsma and grandchildren, Janet Gifford Brown, Brian Elbrecht and Steven Elbrecht.

Her stepdaughter, Katherine "Kit" Bosker Gifford, died in December 2011.

In 2002 Evelyn married William H. Porter Jr. Evelyn and Bill enjoyed several years together before his death in 2008.

Evelyn's memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Northlake Lutheran Church, 6620 Northeast 185th Street, Kenmore, WA 98028.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Evelyn's memory to Grand Traverse Musicale, PO Box 2121, Traverse City, MI 49685, where gifts will be used for scholarships for young musicians in the Grand Traverse area.

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