Classical DJ leaves legacy to KMUD


Starr says that Marian was a meticulous planner of her weekly show, keeping extensive notes on all the music she played. She was a musician herself, growing up in a musical family. Her father was a minister who conducted choruses and orchestras. Marian played the piano and was a mezzo soprano who studied opera at the University of North Texas. Her will also created an opera scholarship at that university.

Marian also loved jazz and this caused a rift between her and her father, who considered jazz to be “devil music.”

Marian called her show “Marian’s Klassics for KMUD” and “From Bach to Bouck.”

”She was a career gal until she met her husband,” Starr says, “and then she pretty much put everything on hold to take care of him. I talked to his daughter and she said that Marian gave up everything for her dad.”

Marian and her husband bought their Laytonville property in 1993 and moved to it in 2000. Marian’s husband died in 2002.

”When she found KMUD, that’s when her life came back to her,” Starr says. She started out a listener and became a volunteer.

After her 80th birthday in March 2009, Marian’s health began to fail. By September, she was unable to continue doing her show. During that period and up to her death, Starr and Marian corresponded through e-mail.

”She told me that she had a conversation with her sister and that she was leaving her property, her records, and her music to KMUD,” Starr remembers. Marian wrote a holographic will confirming her intention and the will is in probate now. Starr says that local attorneys Les Scher and Eric Kirk helped KMUD with the process.

At the end of probate the board of directors of KMUD will decide what to do with the property and whether or not to sell it.

Starr says that Marian wanted the proceeds to help with KMUD’s project to expand their music library by adding on to their Redway studios. The addition will also increase the office space and provide more room for the station’s volunteers, which number in the hundreds.

Starr says that the most important thing about the legacy to her is that Marian wanted to make the gift because KMUD was so important to her. She remembers Marian as a multi-talented woman who also wrote poetry and had an extensive collection of recorded music. She was also a composer and her music manuscripts will be given to Humboldt State University.

Starr says that Marian always wanted to be a conductor but there weren’t many women in that role in her day. She says she finally got to be a conductor of her radio show on the air.

Starr says that she has a portion of Marian’s ashes and that there is a plan to incorporate her ashes along with those of other KMUD hosts and volunteers who have passed away into a memorial fountain that will be built behind the KMUD building. KMUD volunteer George Monroe has turned prunings from the cherry tree in front of the station into slats. The names of all the deceased KMUDers will be engraved on the slats and attached to a bench by the fountain. The ashes will be incorporated into the concrete of the fountain.

”They can be here and stay here forever,” Starr says. She hopes that others who love the station will also consider making a bequest to KMUD.

”Gifts are always wonderful,” she says.

Starr says that if all the volunteers at KMUD were paid, the station would be the largest employer in the area. They have 140 volunteer programmers from north to south and over 30 non-programming volunteers.

KMUD General Manager Brenda Starr looks over the scrapbook and memorabilia of former classical music DJ Marian Estella Mapes-Bouck who willed her property in Mendocino to the station.

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