Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Genevieve Greer Kagen

Born: 1/23/1910

Died: 9/3/2002

Maiden Name: n/a

Honorific: n/a

Genevieve Greer Kagen, 92, passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2002 at Burford Manor. She was born January 23, 1910, the daughter of Beatrice and Thomas Greer, and raised in Davis, Oklahoma

A versatile, artistic woman of Choctaw descent who possessed many gifts in music, writing, theater and art, Genevieve attended Oklahoma City University where she majored in drama and music. Her performing career began when she entered Horner Conservatory of Music, Kansas City, Missouri, where she met Acee Blue Eagle, who later became a renowned American Indian artist in Oklahoma. Under his guidance she learned American Indian songs and dance which she performed on many tours throughout the country. She also studied drama at Rollins College where she successfully performed in a number of theatrical productions. She appeared regularly in 1936 - 1937 on the National Broadcasting Company’s Magic Hour of Speech and was selected for the American Hall of Fame by Maj. Edward S. Bowes.

After studying at Rollins, she traveled to New York to study voice under Marcella Sembrich, a renowned voice teacher at the Julliard School of Music. It was there that she met and fell in love with her future husband and, Sergius Kagen, who was the accompanist and coach for Sembrich’s students and later became a famous voice teacher, composer and pianist. After their marriage in 1937, the couple continued their artistic pursuits. Mrs. Kagen became the director of the Little Theater group for the New York City central branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association. She completed a novel, The Aristocrat, in 1946 which was published by Vanguard Press. She also enjoyed taking lessons at the Art Student’s League in New York and painting many water colors and oils.

After her husband’s death in 1964, Mrs. Kagen devoted herself to editing the second edition of his well-known book, Music for the Voice. She successfully contracted Indiana University Press to publish the newer edition. A pioneer in Spirit, very independent and resourceful, Genevieve decided to return to her land in Oklahoma that she loved and cherished. She set up a successful cattle business, which she ran single-handedly until illness forced her to give it up and move into town in her eighties. Her last three years were spent at Burford Manor. She will be remembered for her zest and versatility, her great love for nature, her passion for learning and the arts.