Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rest in Peace - Pat Sundine Edwards - Almost 92.
Host of Pioneering TV Show Especially for You

Stephanie Sundine and her mother Pat Sundine Edwards

SARASOTA, Fla. — Pat Sundine Edwards died Feb. 6, 2014, at her home in Sarasota. She was 91.
Patricia Niemeyer was born Feb. 15, 1922, in San Francisco. She attended Max Reinhardt School of the Theater in Hollywood for one year, as well as San Francisco Junior College. She married John R. (Jack) Sundine in San Francisco in1946. Mr. Sundine was a captain in the Navy, and was later editor and co-owner of the Moline Dispatch. In Moline, they raised their three children, Stephanie, Krista and John. As Pat Sundine, she hosted her own television show, which broadcast at WOC in Davenport for 18 years, five days a week, as well as a radio talk show for 12 years. She interviewed many famous and interesting guests, and received honors and accolades.
She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and was very active in many civic and service organizations in the Quad-Cities. Awards included a Public Service Award from the State of Illinois for a television and radio series she initiated, “The Child Alone,” dealing with mentally ill children. She received special commendation from Iowa Gov. Harold Hughes for her work with the Governor’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. She and Mr. Sundine were divorced in 1973, and she moved to Naples. In Naples, she was the first development director of Avow Hospice, as it is now known. She was a founding board member and volunteer for the Shelter for Abused Women, and also for Fresh Start for Women of Collier County. She was a member of Unity Church of Naples.
She married David Putnam in 1980, a marriage that ended a few years later. In 1988, she married Fredrick Edwards in Naples. She is survived by Mr. Edwards; her daughter, Stephanie Sundine (Victor DeRenzi); granddaughters, Francesca MacBeth (Peter), Kate Laver (Adam), Stephanie Franks (Jeremy); her stepson, Sterling Edwards (Diane); step-granddaughters, Lisa Edwards and Lauren Maudlen; and several great-grandchildren.
There will be no funeral, and Mrs. Edwards is donating her body to the University of South Florida. A celebration of her life will be scheduled in March in Naples. Contributions in her name may be made to Avow Hospice of Naples, to the Shelter for Abused Women of Collier County, Fla., or to Unity Church in Naples.

Stephanie enjoys her grandson Finn.

Pat admires her great-grandson, Finn.

Francesca MacBeth, their son Finn and her husband Peter.
Sarasota opera - Johann Strauss - Der Fledermaus: "DeRenzi will conduct the piece for the first time, and his wife, Stephanie Sundine, takes on the stage direction. Darko Tresjnak staged the company’s 2003 production, followed by Michael Unger in 2006.
The production is also something of a family affair because DeRenzi and Sundine’s daughter, Francesca, who grew up around Sarasota Opera, is working as the stage manager."
Pat Sundine was a pioneer in television for women.

Stephanie Sundine became an opera star and director.

Source of this verbatim quotation:

"As a third-grader in Moline, Illinois, Stephanie Sundine knew that she wanted to sing. In her interview with OperaMom, Sundine recalled sitting in her classroom enraptured, listening to the beautiful soprano voice of her music teacher. "I remember being so happy whenever it was time for music class, since we did a lot of singing. That same teacher became my homeroom teacher in fifth grade, and everyday I would go into class and say, 'Mrs. Leland, are we going to have music today?' She was patient for a while, and then finally told me nicely to stop asking her!" The daughter of supportive and high public-profile parents (her father, a newspaper owner/editor and her mother, one of the first women in the U.S. to have her own TV talk show), Sundine sang her first solos with her church choir when she was still in eighth grade. "I most admired my voice teachers and music teachers, and appreciated their encouragement and hard work with me." Her first opera recording, La boheme with Victoria de los Angeles, was evidence of her admiration for full-throated soprano voices, which grew to include Tebaldi, Freni, and Nilsson, among others.

After graduating with her B.M. from the University of Illinois, Sundine remained in the Chicago area for four years, performing regularly as a freelance artist with small opera groups as a lyric mezzo. For two summers she was an apprentice with Chautauqua Opera, and attended opera workshops run by Boris Goldovsky, the famed conductor and impresario. "I did three national tours with Goldovsky Opera, singing small roles as well as performing various roles with small companies in New York City." It was at an audition for one of these companies, New York Lyric Opera, that she met her future husband, conductor Victor DeRenzi. "I had seen Victor conduct a couple of performances for them. At my audition, totally unbeknownst to me, he decided he wanted to marry me, and made sure the company hired me for Meg in the Falstaff he was conducting." Very soon after rehearsals for Falstaff began, they got together - the beginning of a relationship which would have a profound and positive impact on her career and her future. "When I met Victor, he felt that I had much more voice than I was using. He encouraged me to change my vocal technique and helped me to develop a much more professional sound." Through the guidance of DeRenzi and her voice teacher, Sundine made the transition from lyric mezzo to soprano. "Over the course of a few years I went from singing Cherubino to singing Isolde, with lots of roles in between!" she exclaimed."

More Stephanie Sundine information.

Stephanie's website.


GJ - The Sundines went to Garfield. Every so often we saw Pat Sundine in her TV makeup at the school. Mrs. Leland, one of our teachers, had an exceptional voice, so she led our Christmas programs. The teachers traded off certain classes, so we had Mrs. Leland for singing. I remember my mother saying in a hushed voice, "She was first soprano in the Augustana choir."

Augustana was known for its music program. Note the connection with the Moline Boys Choir and Dr. Fred Swanson.


Captain Ernie has a great post on the TV show hosted by Stephanie's mother, Pat Sundine - Especially For You. I have copied a little from it:

However - on with the show. I simply adored being the on the air hostess of E for You! I had a completely fabulous time - George Sontag was a dear man (I called him "the chocolate bear") - why, I don't recall - I met and cherished many people, home grown and celebrities! - one of my most favorite segments was called "Fables of our Times" - I then had fascinating interviews with people about their lives, people who were then at my age now! The aim of the show was to entertain and inform - I guess we accomplished those goals - among the famous guests were; Pat Boone, Sebastian Cabot, singing quartet The Ames Brothers, Vincent Price, Duke Ellington, Clyde McCoy, orchestra leader Montavoni, actress Celeste Holm, famous orchestra leader Carmen Cavallero, film actor Joel McCrea, bandleader/singer Bob Crosby (Bing's brother), President Ronald Reagan (I filmed him when he was spokesman for General Electric), American society figure Perle Mesta, actress Sylvia Sidney, Lorne Green, Robert Young (several times - his doctor lived here), Mary Ann Mobley who was one of the Miss Americas and many others.

I had such a fine and rewarding time - I still dream about it!

I have been Mrs. Fredrick Jasper Edwards for 18 blissful years and I couldn't be happier - Jack Sundine is living in St. Petersburg, Florida - we see each other and talk often. My two daughters are a blessing to us - Krista Kruse lives in Moline and Stephanie Sundine lives in New York.

John Patrick Sundine, my son and their brother, died this past December due to complications from diabetes which he suffered from at the age of seven years.

I must mention Anita Sundin wrote commercials and when I was away, took my place on Especially for You. She was just awarded by the State of Iowa a prize for being the person in the whole state that for years has read books for the blind. Quite an honor and quite a gal!

Love, Patricia Sundine


Stephanie Sundine (Class of 1965) --Stephanie Sundine’s remarkable international career in opera and stage directing began with her early love for musical experiences in the Moline School District. Sundine graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began her professional opera career in Rochester, New York, and has since performed in principle roles across the globe. She retired from her vocal career in 1995. She continued her stage work as director in more than 30 productions across the United States. Sundine has also shared her talents through private studio coaching, guest teaching at Boston University and Catholic University, as a competition judge, and co-founder of Words for Music, a program providing translated subtitles for performances in other languages.