SAINT MICHAELS —Janet Seymour Berg died February 8, 2020 at her home in St. Michaels. Born in St. Michaels on November 10, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Noble Paul Seymour and Henrietta Marshall Seymour. She is survived by her three daughters, Rebecca Johnson and her husband, James, of Sykesville, MD; Alice Penchenski and her partner, John Roche, of St. Michaels; and Estella Berg and her husband, Steven Russo, of Honolulu, HI. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Evan and Lucy Russo, of Honolulu, HI. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Dennis Berg, and a son-in-law, John Penchenski.
Music was the great passion of Janet’s life. She started playing piano at an early age and had her own radio show in Easton by the age of twelve. After graduating from St. Michaels High School, she attended Western Maryland College, earning a degree in music education in 1956. She taught music at Sudbrook Middle School in Pikesville, MD before marrying her husband and becoming a private piano teacher. She taught many students over the course of her seventy year career and was renowned for demanding excellence from her pupils.
In addition to her teaching, Janet was for many years the organist and choir director at Christ Church in St. Michaels. She also wrote, produced, and accompanied numerous original musical productions, most of which centered around life in the small town in which she lived. One of the songs she wrote, “Ride With the Tide,” is still played on the Patriot, a tour boat on the Miles River and the inspiration for the piece.
In 1970, Janet and her husband started their own tugboat and barge company, Eastern Shore Marine, Inc. While Denny plied the Chesapeake Bay and waters from the Gulf of Mexico to Nova Scotia, Janet took care of the business. Although they “retired” in 1992, Janet continued her teaching career until the fall of 2019.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, February 15 at Christ Church in St. Michaels. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Talbot County Arts Council, the St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department, or Talbot Humane Society.