Natalie Kreutzer died peacefully on October 20th, 2016 at her home in Albuquerque with her sister, niece, and great niece at her side. She was 71.
Natalie, born 3/10/45, was accomplished in many areas and left a legacy of joy, love, music, humor and tolerance to all she knew. A free spirit, she followed her family’s tradition of living life to make the world a more positive place for everyone. Natalie earned her B.A. in music at NE Wesleyan and later earned a M.A. in History at LSU in New Orleans. She then taught both Spanish and Music in Bladen, Nebraska while also running a farm with her ex-husband, Bryan. Returning to her love of music, she went on to earn her PhD in music education at Indiana University after several years of research in Zimbabwe, Africa. While there, she also developed the first B.A. Music program for the U. of Zimbabwe. Her final position was as a music professor at the U. of Idaho in Moscow, ID where she brought elements of the Zimbabwe culture to the community.
Natalie dealt with breast and colon cancer over a 12-year period, never letting it stop her from enjoying traveling the world, music, her friends or her irrepressible love affair with life. After entering hospice in July of 2016, in lieu of a memorial service, she held a going-away party for herself with 75 friends and family members so she could share her final journey with the people she loved. She will be sorely missed.
Natalie is survived by her beloved family-her sister, Anita Lewis and partner, Ted Greenawalt; her niece Clare Bhakta, husband Jateen, and their daughter Eeshika; her nephew, Jesse Lewis, wife Vestina and their two sons, Ashton and Talan. Friends may support their favorite charity in her name.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Nov. 20, 2016
Anne Laskey shared the following:
Natalie served on OAKE’s board as Western Division II Member at Large from 2000-2003. She and I joined 28 other music teachers from across the United States in the first U.S. to Cuba People-to-People Ambassador Program in Music Education in April, 2001. We shared many visits in the following years. I was able to attend her going-away party in August. One of Natalie’s many parting gifts was to Holy Names: copies of her DVD of Zimbabwe Children’s Singing Games that she recorded during her time in Africa. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me, Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Natalie’s book about her experiences in Zimbabwe, “I Came as a Child,” is available through Amazon.