Mary Wiedebusch – Dominion Post

Mary Kathryne “Kacy” Wiedebusch passed away peacefully on July 5, 2022. She was born in Clarksburg on August 17, 1929 to Danton Leon and Mary Margaret Caussin. She grew up in Clarksburg and graduated from Victory High School in 1947.

She earned her undergraduate and Master of Arts degrees at WVU and continued her professional studies in New York with the great legends of modern dance, Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Jose Limon. While a student at WVU, Kacy was a member of the Alpha XI Delta sorority. His first job outside of college was at Morgantown High School as a physical education teacher in the late 1940s and early 1950s, starting the Junior Orchesis Dance program there.

She married Charles “Charlie” Edward Wiedebusch on July 12, 1952. When not in the dance studio, she could be found with him on the golf course or on the Kacy III enjoying the lake. They were founding members of the Lakeview Country Club.

Considered the “first lady of dance” at WVU, she joined the faculty in 1955 and was a dance teacher in the School of Physical Education, then continued by moving to the College of Creative Arts, Division of Theater and in 1993. She retired from WVU in 2006. Kacy has dedicated her life’s work to teaching dance in her 51 years of teaching. She built the dance program, which was recognized nationwide.

Kacy continued to be an innovative curriculum designer for the development of dance in higher education and was instrumental in the creation of the dance minor program launched in 2000 at WVU. She worked with President Elvis Stahr Jr. in building the Elizabeth Moore Hall dance studio in 1960. Today, the studio is named and dedicated in her honor.

She founded an “Artistry in Residency” program in 1978, bringing in more than 30 nationally acclaimed artists such as Dan Wagoner, Bob Durkin, and Joann Woodbury to help expose her students to new, progressive styles of dance technique. Kacy also worked with Eric Hawkins, Alvin Ailey Co., Philadanco and Joffrey Ballet Co. during her years at WVU. During her tenure as Artistic Director of the WVU Orchesis Dance Ensemble, she choreographed and produced over 150 theatrical concerts, eight original ballets while working with the University Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Tom Canning, Phil Faini and others.

Kacy was a founding member of the American College Dance Festival Association which was first held at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. She was instrumental in the development of the West Virginia State Dance Festival. His modern dance ensemble Orchesis was one of the first to perform on stage at the Charleston Cultural Complex. She has received two national awards for her commitment to dance at the college and national level. In 1992 and 1994, she was named West Virginia Dance Educator of the Year. She was inducted into the WVU Physical Education Hall of Fame in 1994. She was named to and served on the State Steering Committee for West Virginia National Arts Standards in 2000 and received the Paul “Buck” Martin Alumni Service Award in 2006. She was honored as a “woman of distinction” by her national sorority, Alpha Xi Delta. In 2007, Kacy was inducted into the WVU Order of Vandalia, the university’s highest honor and recognition for her extraordinary service to West Virginia University.

Kacy’s love for teaching dance has extended to the community with her countless children’s concerts, outreach programs in public schools, and the development of the Community Artistic Dance Program for children and adults. Over the years, she has also participated in the Metropolitan Preservation Foundation, the Met Theater Commission Board and the Monongalia General Hospital Ball of the Year. She has also served on the board of the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center and was an active participant in the Betty Puskar Futures Golf Tournament.

She is predeceased by her husband, Charles Edward Wiedebusch; his brother, Eugene Dixon Caussin; younger brother, Danton Leon Caussin Jr.; his sister-in-law, Harriett Wiedebusch Raese; and his nephew, Charles Dickinson Raese.

She is survived by her daughter, Carole Jean Wiedebusch and her son, Charles Edward Wiedebusch II, his wife, Heidi Bartlett Wiedebusch and her grandsons, Charles Jackson and James Gray Wiedebusch, all of Morgantown; his nephew, Robert Arlington Raese, his wife Paula Fazenbaker Raese and daughter Audrey, of Morgantown; her great-niece, Amelia Raese Hoover and her husband Austin, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; his niece, Jeanne A. Caussin, of Jacksonville, Florida; and his nephew, Danton Lee Caussin, of Florida.

Friends and family will be received at the Erickson Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Drive, Morgantown, from 1 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, 2022.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mary Kathryne “Kacy” Wiedebusch Dance Fellowship at West Virginia University or Morgantown Hospice. Donations can be mailed to the WVU Foundation, 1 Waterfront Place, 7th Floor, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650. The fund number, 3V744, can be added to the memo line. Morgantown Hospice – An Amedisys Partner, 3596 Collins Ferry Road, Suite 250, Morgantown, WV 26505.

Hastings Funeral Home is making arrangements.


Comments are closed.