Funeral Mass held for Phyllis Rose Clem Roberts Baer

Phyllis Rose Clem Roberts Baer passed away May 10 at the Ben Atchley State Veterans Home from Alzheimer’s disease.

A funeral Mass for her was celebrated on May 15 at All Saints Church. Burial followed at Highland Memorial Cemetery.

She was born Feb. 26, 1938, in Elkmont, Ala., and graduated from East High School in Knoxville in 1956. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music with an emphasis in choral music from the University of Tennessee.

Mrs. Baer taught music in the Knoxville City School System for 27 years. Schools where she taught include East, Rule, and West high schools, where she took many students to All-State choirs and directed her students in musicals.

She retired from teaching in 1986 to pursue a career in the U.S. Navy Reserves, which she had joined at the age of 36. She achieved the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer before retiring at age 60 with nearly 24 years of service. She loved music and sang in several church choirs, including All Saints, Macedonia Methodist, Bearden Methodist, and West Hills Baptist. She also directed and conducted the Bearden Methodist Church choir for five years. In addition, she was a member of the Knoxville Choral Society for 16 years and served on the Choral Society board of directors.

Mrs. Baer was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Irene Grooms Clem; her five brothers and sisters, John Clem, James (Bud) Clem, Evelyn Clem Maples, Shirley Clem Tindell Hurst, and Carol Clem Faulkner, her first husband, Ted Roberts; his parents, Louis and Evelyn Roberts; and his brother, Glenn Roberts.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas Baer; her three sons, Louis Roberts (Cardy Spaulding) of Silver Spring, Md., Colby Roberts (Katherine) of San Francisco, and Kevin Roberts (Tara) of Johnson City; stepdaughter Kathleen Stovall (Jerry) of La Grange, Ky.; step-grandchildren Jerry Stovall (Jessica) of Groton, Conn., Jace Stovall and Hannah Stovall of La Grange, Ky. Memorials in Mrs. Baer’s name can be made to the Knoxville Choral Society or The Joy of Music School.

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