Obituary of Jean McMaster ~ 2009
Longtime Kenai resident, Ms. Jean McMaster, 91, died Monday, January 19, 2009 at South
Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care in Homer with her family by her side.
Per Jean’s request, no formal services will be held.
Ms. McMaster was born January 5, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois. She became a resident of
Anchorage in 1944. She moved to Kenai in 1953, living there until moving to Homer in
2005. She founded Master Dance Studio and Peninsula Dancers in Kenai. She provided
dance instruction to children of all ages and performance opportunities to teens and
adults through the Peninsula Dancers. Her original dance story, “The Ballad of Kenai”
became an original full length musical about Homesteaders, Natives, and the coming of
oil, with book & lyrics by Lance Petersen and F.J. Malone, and music by Robert C.
Richardson. It won the Alaska and Northwest Regional Competitions for Community
Theatres and travelled to the National Competition in 1981 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
For many years, Jean McMaster was the key person in assembling many theatrical talents
to present Broadway musicals as well as original shows on the Kenai Peninsula. Her
work with the Peninsula Dancers, Kenai Performers, and Pier One Theatre included
collaborations with Jean Brockel, Freddie Billingslea, Phyllis Morin, David Forbes,
Lorene Forbes, Rosie Murphy, Chris Morin, Robert C. Richardson, and Lance Petersen.
The family wrote, “Jean’s legacy lives on in the artistic endeavors of many in the
Kenai area and in dance studios in other states through her former students.”
She is survived by her son, Kim Petersen of Everett, Washington and son and daughter in
law, Lance and Barbara Petersen of Homer, and grandson, Sascha Petersen and his wife,
Elizabeth Rohlich of Austin, Texas.
Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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