Josephine Morton Bever

NSO Volunteer

Josephine Morton Bever, 82, a volunteer for the National Symphony Orchestra and many other local organizations, died of colon cancer May 8 at Collington Life Care community in Mitchellville, where she lived.

She was born in Portland, Maine, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1942. She did clerical work for the next seven years at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Gallery of Art.

Mrs. Bever moved to Washington in the mid-1940s and except for a few years spent in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the mid-1950s, she resided in the Washington area.

After raising a family, Mrs. Bever began to volunteer in the late 1960s. Her work with the NSO ranged from being a docent and recruiter of volunteers to founding its education committee, of which she was chairman from 1971 to 1992. In 2004, she was made an honorary life member of the NSO's board of directors.

She also was the founder in 1976 of free Kennedy Center concerts for disadvantaged children, a program that attracted more than 10,000 students during the decade she ran it. Mrs. Bever was a member of the women's committee and chairman of the NSO's senior services from the late 1990s until recently.

She was a member and former officer of the Friday Morning Music Club, a group that promotes musical culture in the community. She served on the board of the Levine School of Music and chaired its fundraising drives in the 1980s.

She also served on the board of the Prince George's Philharmonic and helped found the Theater Chamber Players in Washington.

Mrs. Bever volunteered with the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, the Maryland State Mental Health Association, the Montgomery Medical Society and the Montgomery County Arts Council.

She also was on the board of directors of the Unitarian and Universalist Housing Foundation and held numerous offices with the Washington Wellesley Club.

From 1972 to 1974, she was on the Chevy Chase Town Council. She was a member of the League of Women Voters in Washington and Montgomery County and served on the board of the Woman's National Democratic Club.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Dr. Christopher T. Bever of Mitchellville; four children, Christopher Bever Jr. of Glen Arm, Md.; Caroline Bever of Boise, Idaho; Edward Bever of Northport, N.Y., and Sarah Bever of Falls Church; and six grandchildren.