In Memoriam


Glenna O'Dell
October 23, 1955-August 1, 2019
Member of Metroplex MTA

Glenna Arlene (Treas) O’Dell passed away on Thursday, August 1, 2019 with her husband by her side.
She was born on October 23, 1955 in Ada, Oklahoma to Arlene and James Treas.  She was a 1973 graduate of Latta High School.  In the Spring of her senior year she met and eventually fell in love with Jim O’Dell. They were married August 5, 1977. 
Glenna attended East Central University in Ada where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in Education (emphasis in music) on May 8,1976.  She completed the requirements for her Masters in Secondary Education on August 2, 1977 just three days before her wedding. She had two passions outside of her family.  Music and Irish Setters. 

She was a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and taught piano, voice, theory and composition.  She was a member of the Music Teachers National Association since 1979. Former member of the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association (FWMTA) and the Fort Worth Piano Forum.  In 1986 she began her many years as the director of the State Ensemble Teams for her local Music Teachers Associations which played at the Texas Music Teacher’s (TMTA) convention each year.  From 1988 to 1990 she served as President of the FWMTA. 
As a charter member she helped establish Metroplex Music Teachers Association in 1994 and has been president of this group since 1998. She has also held two offices in TMTA as Publication and Original Composition Coordinator where she helped develop new guidelines for both activities making it easier to compete in them. 
In 1993 she joined fellow teacher Lee McKay and formed the business partnership McDell Publications.  Together they created teaching aids such as theory review packets for state testing, file folder games, music camp ideas, and composition learning packets, all designed to help the students excel. 
Glenna has composed several compositions that have inspired many students.  One of them titled, Ground H & S, a duet for piano, has been performed at several TMTA conventions, starting in 2003.

Her love for Irish Setters evolved into competing at American Kennel Club (AKC) show events.  Between 1988 and 1997 she completed three Championship titles, contributed to a fourth title, as well as obedience titles on each of these dogs, all owner handled.  In 2000, she started working in AKC Agility trials, attaining three agility titles on the same animal.  It was at this point that helping with Irish Setter Rescue took over her focus as she accepted the Coordinator’s job when the original person moved out of the country with her family.  In the ensuing years, this group became known as Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.  She wrote the application for 501c3 status and worked endlessly until this became a reality.  During this time, she also built a network of adopters and foster families, some years placing 20 or more Irish Setters into forever homes that had lost their original homes due to illness, change in family status, and even abuse.  She held this position until July 27, 2019 when the reins were passed back to the capable hands of the original coordinator. 
Glenna was preceded in death by her mother, both maternal and paternal grandparents, and a maternal uncle. Survivors include:  her husband, Jim O’Dell of the home; her father James Treas and wife Yvonna of Ada, Oklahoma; maternal aunt and uncle Linda and Earl Whaley; brothers Barry Treas and wife Kim of Houston, Texas; Larry Treas and wife Cheryl of Yukon, Oklahoma; and sister Elizabeth Kerr and husband Kive of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and their spouses and children. One day, as God has promised all who accept His free gift of eternal life, we will reunite in Heaven.

Jo Ann Parker Hoffman  August 27 1931  June 02 2019 

Jo Ann Parker Hoffman
August 27,1931-June 2, 2019
Member of Victoria MTA

Jo Ann was born on August 27, 1931 and passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Jo Ann was a resident of Cuero, Texas at the time of passing. She graduated from Humble High School in 1949, third in her class.  She was a member of Texas Music Teachers Association for more than 50 years. 

Obituary of Paula Ann Stephens

Paula Ann Stephens
December 23, 1948-May 25-2019
Member of Dallas MTA

Paula Ann Baker Stephens, 70 of Dallas, TX passed from this life on Saturday, May 25, 2019 after a nine month struggle caused by a traumatic brain injury. She was born on December 23, 1948 to her loving parents, Samuel Allen and Pauline Baker of Dallas. Paula graduated W.W. Samuell High School in 1967. After high school, she attended the University of Texas at Austin where she was a piano performance major. She and her husband, Jerry met at UT studying with the same piano teacher, Dr. William Race. Jerry proudly reports that they met on the same piano bench. Paula and Jerry were happily married for 46 years. During all of those years, they enjoyed life as a duo piano team, playing concerts and events in Texas and all over the southwest. Paula also enjoyed a 34 year career as the commissioner’s court clerk for the county of Dallas. She was a talented, loving, unselfish, sweet, and soft spoken follower of Jesus.

Paula was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel Allen Baker and wife, Pauline Lamoyne “Honey” of Dallas; her grandparents, Frank George and Bertie Lorena Head of Abilene; grandparents, Samuel Bennett and Lillie Allen Baker of Honey Grove. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Stephens of Dallas, her brother George Allen Baker (wife, Bonnie) of Dallas, her brother James Vaughn Baker (wife, Deanna) of Lubbock, and her brother Jerry David Baker of Jacksonville, Florida, and a host of nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, and so many friends.

Image result for Irene ruth waters 

Irene Ruth Waters
January 25, 1922-March 2, 2019
Member of Nacogdoches MTA

Irene was born on a farm in Ellis, KS. She was the youngest of three children born to Clarence S. Holtzinger and Nellie M. Kutina.  She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS. She would later earn a Master of Music Theory degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and would begin doctoral studies in organ at Indiana University in Bloomington.
During her time at Indiana she met her husband, Walter Kenneth Waters, Jr. The two would live in New Orleans, LA; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, OR and Alton, IL before
settling in Nacogdoches in 1965 when Ken became a theatre professor at Stephen F. Austin State University.

For the next five decades, Irene would teach hundreds of piano students in her home studio in Nacogdoches. Many of them became accomplished performers and instructors. As a member of the Music Teachers National Association for years, Irene would travel to Lubbock in 1974 to receive the charter for the Nacogdoches Chapter of the NMTA.

She was also active in the Nacogdoches Symphony Club
which honored her with a reception in 2014 for her
nearly half-century of service to the Nacogdoches fine
arts community.
In addition to her parents, Irene was preceded in death
by her husband, Ken; a sister, Rose Holtzinger Fanshier
and a brother, Ray Holtzinger.
Survivors include her daughter, Wendy Waters McNeill
and husband, Neill A. McNeill of Greensboro, NC; and
her son, Brian David Waters and his wife, Brenda Kocian
Waters of Angel Fire, NM; three grandchildren, Margaret
Adams McNeill of Washington, DC; Aaron Kyle Waters
of Dallas, TX and Elizabeth Lentz McNeill of Greenville,


Shuhao Pao
March 6, 1940-December 8, 2018
Member of Houston MTA

Shuhao was born in Yokohama, Japan on March 6, 1940, to Sai Wong and Wai Kung (Hiune) Hue. She was of Chinese descent and lived in a thriving multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment. She was fluent in Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She graduated from Ferris Women’s College, Yokohama and Tokyo University of Fine Arts, majoring in piano. She was fortunate enough to have as her mentors the two foremost Paris-trained concert pianists in Japan who were also world-renowned pianists and music critics, Madam Yuko Yamaoka and Madam Kazuko Nishikawa. From them, she learned how to challenge herself continuously to realize to the fullest her potential as a pianist and music educator. They also instilled in her the importance of achieving the excellence as intended by the composer of each and every music composition being performed, an objective that demanded nothing less than total dedication, as well as the firm determination to persevere at all costs. In her turn as a piano teacher and music educator, she tried to instill the same in her students at the risk of being regarded as being too strict. 

Shuhao dedicated her life to training many piano students and other young instrumentalists. She continuously challenged them to be examples of excellence, and in their turn to inspire others to do even more, as well as to be as creative as possible so as to even transcend what they had imagined. She was highly regarded for her passion in music and in people. In 1987, Shuhao and her colleague and friend, Sophia Gilmson, dedicated themselves to working with the most talented young musicians that Houston had to offer by founding the Houston Young Artist’s Concert (HYAC). The mission of HYAC is to showcase highly talented young classical musicians age 4 to 18 in a variety of venues throughout the city with the hope of fostering a greater appreciation for classical music in the Houston area. Shuhao also helped launch many local piano competitions. Moreover, she served as a judge for many competitions. Eager to share her passion for music with as many people as possible, she took students to play in outreach concerts in assisted living centers, nursing homes and hospitals. Although she was an accomplished pianist and piano teacher, she loved to sing. However, not many people had the privilege hearing her angelic voice. 
Throughout her life, no matter what endeavor she undertook, Shuhao gave her whole heart and soul. She enjoyed exercising and dancing, especially zumba. At times, she would lead the exercise classes with no stereo but with only her rhythmic counting, an approach she had found to be most useful in motivating people to keep moving their entire bodies effectively. In addition to exercising, she enjoyed cooking, so much so that she hosted many parties for which she cooked all kinds of food, especially her famous surprise lasagna with raisins.

Shuhao was married to Wayne Pao for 48 years. They have known each other since elementary school in Japan. Their love was strong with an unbreakable bond, always showing trust, respect and support for each other. Shuhao is survived by her husband, Wayne Pao; her daughter Lynn Pao; her son Shaun Pao and his wife Jennyfer Nguy; her grandchildren Nicholas Pao and Liyah Nguy; her sisters Mary Shukgee Hue, Shuk-Kun Hue-Kolonaty, Shu-Pin Judy Tsang, Shu-chuan Hsu; her brothers Dr. Gen-yuan Hsu, M.D.- Ph.D and Ken-yao Hue, M.D.

Charlotte Ann

Charlotte Ann "Cappy" Pittman
October 30-1941-December 2018
Member of Houston MTA

Charlotte Ann "Cappy" Pittman
Charlotte Ann "Cappy" Pittman, of Port Arthur died at her residence in La Joya, Texas. She was 77.
Miss Pittman was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Henry and Anita Pittman. Mr. Pittman was the owner of the Riggle & Pittman Concrete Company of Port Arthur, Texas.
Raised in Port Arthur, Texas, Cappy played organ for the First Christian Church and often sang in the choir alongside her friend Janis Joplin. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School, and was a majorette of the Red Hussars Drum and Bugle Corp then ultimately graduating from San Marcos Academy. 
Cappy received a BFA in Music Composition from the University of Miami. While enrolled, Cappy became a member of the Tri Delta sorority, later elected Chapter President. 
As a student at UM, Cappy was crowned "Miss Miami" and went on to compete for the title of Miss Florida. During the pageant's talent portion, she performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 18th variation.
She went on to obtain a Masters from Barry College, studying with legendary pianist Ivan Davis. Later, she attended The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Vienna Conservancy in Austria.
When her formal musical education was finished Cappy continued to be supportive of the fine arts. She was a member of Miami's Young Patroness of the Opera, Miami Philharmonic and the Miami City Ballet.
All of these organizations had educational programs which benefited from Cappy's skills.
Cappy married Marty Blitstein of Miami Beach in 1967 and they had a son, Marc. The couple were later divorced in 1982.
Cappy talents landed her a position with the internationally acclaimed Houston Grand Opera. She later taught high school music, becoming a well-respected private piano teacher in Houston, taking her students to national and international competitions.
Miss Pittman is survived by her brother Mark, her sister in-law Happy Arellano, both of La Joya, her only son Marc Blitstein, her daughter in-law Heather Blitstein and her two grandchildren Jacob and Noah of Los Angeles.

Karen Christiansen Haverlah Obituary 

Karen Christiansen Haverlah
May 8, 1944-September 8, 2018
Member of Austin District MTA

HAVERLAH, Karen Christiansen A first-generation American, Karen was born May 8, 1944, to her Canadian-born mother and Danish-born father. She passed away peacefully at home with family present on September 8. Karen was organist for several of her younger years at her dear home church, Bethel Lutheran in Lyford, Texas, where she returned to play for both their 75th and 100th anniversaries. Karen played with great dedication to worship for 12 years at Gethsemane in Austin, 3 years at Grace in Round Rock, 11 years at Central Presbyterian in downtown Austin, and 11 years at Triumphant Love, Austin, until August of this year. Karen completed 29 joyous years with colleagues at St. Stephen's Episcopal School as she with patience and example taught advanced and beginning piano students. Students there and at her home studio earned blue and red ribbons with Austin District Music Teachers adjudications. Karen accompanied the Madrigal Singers and numerous ensembles, and played for chapel services. Knowing Karen's smile, one could wonder if that developed in the womb or started soon after, growing up in the luscious Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. One could also speculate if that smile and glowing inner peace fed her passion for music, or if the music studies beginning at age 6 furthered that personality. Always seeking to broaden her listening and performance skills, Karen earned bachelor and master degrees from Texas Lutheran University and the University of Houston. She continued her post graduate studies with recognized organ performers and university professors in piano. Organ dedicatory recitals and church wide meetings were graced with her skills. Often asked to play for weddings, funerals, and to be an accompanist to various ensembles, Karen accumulated a wealth of experience and a broad repertoire of music. Always a singer, she was a soprano in the Conspirare Symphonic Choir for several years, admiring the inspired music selections and leadership of Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. Benefiting from the love and caring gifts of this special lady is her husband of 50 years, Leroy. Also, son David, wife Kat, grandsons Dean, 14, and Henry, 8, daughter Kirsha, friend Alan, and granddaughter Alexa, 23. Karen has been blessed richly with extraordinary loving family: of Horseshoe Bay, brother Curt Christiansen and his wife Cheryl, and their families, and of New Jersey, sister Marian Savage, her husband Bill and their families, and of Round Rock, brother in law Rev. Elroy Haverlah and wife Rachel and their families. There were interests in other art forms, stimulated by trips to Italy, Asia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, various cities in Europe, and multiple trips to Canada. Inspired by their beauty, she selected local clothing, paintings, and tapestries to decorate her home. After a lifetime of perfect health, non-smoker lung cancer stage IV appeared but was kept at bay with the unbelievable expertise and kind support of Dr. Yorio and all the staff at Texas Oncology. In the final 3 weeks, Hospice Austin met all the needs for in home care. For 2 1/2 years, deeply heartfelt letters, emails, phone calls from near and far from friends and even strangers have been powerful buoys in this storm, making the seas seem calm. One of the benefits of being a musician was being added to multiple prayer lists. For those prayers, we, the family, are forever grateful. Not one person has suggested that God brought cancer to God's child. Karen and God have long had a strong, mutual promise of faith in each other. Karen leaves us with the words, in granite: "the music continues" and "lux aeterna" (eternal light). These are her hopes for us. Entering eternal life at age 74. Celebration of Life service will take place at Triumphant Love Lutheran, 9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, on Friday, September 28 at 3 p.m., with reception upstairs following. If desired, memorials may be given to St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Triumphant Love Lutheran Church, or the favorite . A marker will be placed alongside the existing 2 generations of Haverlahs in Stockdale, TX, but there will be no burial service. Karen, concerned about the future for others, has donated her body for the advancement of medical science.


Anna Montgomery Farish
April 8, 1936-July 2, 2018
Member of Denton MTA

Anna Montgomery Farish, 82, of Denton passed away on July 2, 2018 in Denton. She was born on April 8, 1936 to Alvis David and Mary Lewis (Kimbrough) Montgomery) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was a graduate of Reidsville High School (NC) and East Carolina University where she double majored in Music and Business. She married Stephen Thomas Farish, Jr. in Greenville, NC on May 31, 1958. They had two children, Stephen David Farish and Virginia Kay "Viki" Farish Lozano.
For over 50 years, she taught music and piano, first at Les Mills Studios and the Selwyn School, and then for the vast majority of her professional life as owner/operator of the Anna Farish Studio. At various points in her career she was teaching over 150 students a week in private lessons, and she continued to teach until the week of her passing. In addition to the hundreds of students she taught over the years, she was perhaps best known for the work she did creating and leading the Denton Piano Ensemble Teams. For over 40 years she annually prepared and directed four teams (elementary, middle school, high school, and post-high school) of 20 piano students selected by competitive audition playing together as one team. Those teams were seen as the standard setters for piano ensemble performance. She was a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, the Denton Music Teachers Association (Past President), the Texas Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association.
She is survived by her son, David Farish and his wife Melissa Farish of Flower Mound, sister, Mary Lou Oliver of Hot Springs, Arkansas and two grandchildren, Caroline Annyce Farish and Montgomery Cruz "Monty" Lozano, and many other extended family. She is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Stephen T. Farish, Jr., daughter Viki Lozano, and her parents. 


Arnold Jerome Leondar
July 15, 1924-June 20, 2018
Honorary Member of Fort Worth MTA

Arnold Jerome Leondar, 93, artist – art educator, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Fort Worth.  Memorial Service and Guest Reception: Saturday, July 28, 2018 in Biggers Funeral Home Chapel.
Arnold was born July 15, 1924 in New York City (Manhattan).  His parents were the late, Rose (Leondar) and Maurice Klein.  Arnold entered military service on January 6, 1943 at Camp Upton Long Island, NY where he accepted his oath of allegiance to the United States Constitution. He served as a soldier in World War II for 37 months from 1943 to 1946. Arnold’s Army career was in England, France and Okinawa; retiring as Staff Sargent. He proudly brought honor to the United States and enriched its beauty with his Professional Fine Art career.
Arnold studied with the following important American artists and professors of Art privately or at major Universities: Paul Honore, Peppino Mangravite, Oronzio Maldarelli, George Picken, Randall Davey, John Heliker, Kenneth Adams Dong Kingman, Raymond Jonson, Meyer Shapiro. He received a Bachelor of Science in Painting from Columbia University in 1951 and a Master of Arts in Painting in 1955 from University of New Mexico.  Arnold Leondar is represented in the following institutions by his artwork: Roswell Museum, Roswell, NM; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; Tarrant County College Northeast Campus, Hurst, TX; Beaumont Art Museum, Beaumont, TX; Houston Museum of Art, Houston, TX; Museum of the Southwest, Midland TX; Huston-Tillotson College Library, Austin TX; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX. and numerous private collections.
Arnold founded and directed the Midland Institute of Art from 1955 to 1965 in Midland, TX.  From 1968 to 1998, a professor of Art, he was Art Department chairman for Tarrant County College and contributed to the design and building of the Northeast Campus Art Department.
Arnold married June Marie Carthel in 1955 in Taos New Mexico. They had two sons; Brandt, a former Assistant Director of Bands at Grapevine High School, Grapevine TX and Morris, a Driver l Engineer l Public Educator for Grapevine Fire Department, Grapevine TX.  Since 1955, June and Arnold lived in Texas until his death, just three weeks shy of his 94th birthday. Arnold was preceded in death by his son, Brandt.
Arnold is survived by his wife of 63 years, June; son, Morris and wife, Kimberly; daughter-in-law, LuAnne; grandsons, Aaron and wife, Brooke, Andrew Leondar; granddaughter, Marissa Sauble and husband, Brent; great-grandsons, Halston and Kinsler.

Carl Dean Shank, Jr.
October 19,1945-June 20,2018
Forum MTA and Houston MTA

Carl Dean Shank, Jr., known to all as "Dean," died peacefully at his home in Houston, Texas, on June 20 at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer. 
Dean was born on October 19, 1945, in Jacksonville, Texas, to Carl Dean Shank, Sr. and Kathryn Davis. He graduated from Denton High School in 1964, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the University of North Texas, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Dean studied under several renowned pianists during his lifetime, including Stefan Bardas, Richard Cass, Richard Goode, John Perry, William Race, and Alexander Uninsky. 
Dean met Pamela Burch, a fellow musician, at North Texas and married her in 1969. After serving as an officer in the United States Air Force, Dean held academic appointments in the music departments at West Virginia University and the University of Illinoisbefore returning to Texas to join the faculty at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, where he served as artist faculty for 33 years until his retirement in 2017. Dean also held a Registered Craftsman rating in the Piano Technicians Guild.
Dean was an exceptional musician, a world-class piano technician, an epic storyteller, and a truly gentle soul. He will be forever remembered by his wife of 48 years, Pam; by his daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and John Meier; by his son and daughter-in-law, David and Annie Shank; and by his beloved grandson, Jacob Meier. Dean will also be fondly remembered by his many students and colleagues.