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arrow.jpg   In memoriam

Pettus "Pete" Cowley Gibbons

Pete Gibbons.jpgPettus Cowley Gibbons, 67, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Monday at Asbury United Methodist Church in Haltom City. Pettus was born June 23, 1948, in Memphis, Tenn., to Joel and Sybil Pettus Gibbons. Survivors: Wife, Caryn Gibbons; daughter and son-in-law, Jenny Phillips and husband, Kendall; son, Peter Gibbons; sister and brother-in-law, Sybil Haas and husband, Jeff; grandchildren, Gianna, Joey, Gabriella, Basilio IV, Sebastian; stepdaughters, Tracie Rosales, Melissa Whitley and husband, Shannon, Ginny Reeves and husband, Joseph; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Sandra Kay Holmes

Sandra Kay Holmes.jpgSandra Kay Holmes , a resident of Irving since 1963, born September 27, 1935 in Gentry, Missouri, left her heavenly body Tuesday, March 11, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Richard L. Holmes. They married on September 16, 1962 in Saint Louis, Missouri. Also surviving are her sister, Joan King of Illinois; two former exchange students, Morton Hagan of Denmark and Eivinn Euland of Norway; brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Elizabeth Henry of Oregon; and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Lucille Peter and brother, Russell Peter.

Sandy graduated from Central Methodist College with a degree in vocal music. She taught in the St. Louis, Missouri and Irving, Texas School Systems, ending her career as Therapeutic Recreation Director for the Handicapped for the City of Dallas, Texas. Sandy was an active member of the Ambassador Program at DFW Airport and a member of the Irving Chorale. She is a former member of choirs at St. Luke’s and Holy Family Catholic Churches in Irving. She is also a previous member of the Dallas Catholic Choir.

A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, March 13 at Donnelly’s Colonial Funeral Home, 606 West Airport Freeway in Irving. Rosary at 8:00 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Mass of Christian Burial is 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 14 at Mater Dei Catholic Church, 2030 East Highway 356 in Irving. Entombment to follow at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Irving Chorale, 3333 North MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75062, Mater Dei Catholic Church, or a charity of your choice.
Marjorie S. Lee

Marjorie Sue Lee.jpgMarjorie Sue Lee of Dallas, Texas passed from this life on September 12, 2013. She was born in Dallas on November 19, 1948 to William L. and Marjorie R. Werner, both deceased. She is survived by sons Robert Chad Lee of Dallas and Ryan Charles Lee and his wife Missy and three grandchildren: Tori, Taylor, and Toby of Irving. She is also survived by her brother Bill Werner of Irving. She achieved a bachelor degree from Stephen F. Austin and masters degree from University of North Texas. She taught two years in Kilgore, Texas and after moving to Irving, she taught thirty-five years at Britain Elementary in grades one, two, and three. Besides the love of her children and grandchildren, she loved music. She was a charter member of the Irving Chorale and sang with the group for a number of years. She was a member of the Church of Christ.
Kathryn Dew Gates

KathyGates.jpgKathryn Dew Gates, 77, passed away Thursday, January 16, 2014 at her home while under hospice care surrounded by family and friends.

She was born at Saint Mary's hospital in Enid, Oklahoma on August 21, 1936 to Evelyn Lee and Paul Corley Gates. She attended Enid public schools, graduating from Enid High School in 1954 and receiving her BS in Business from Oklahoma State University in 1958.

She left Enid to work with IBM and stayed with that company for more than 30 years, working in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Santa Barbara, California. She returned to the Midwest to be closer to her family and made lifelong friends through IBM in Irving, Texas where she settled in the 80's. She joined Saint Mark's Episcopal church and on her retirement from IBM was able to work as church secretary, a position she heartily enjoyed for over ten years. She joined the Irving Chorale and sang with them in Irving as well as in Carnegie Hall, NYC, Wales, and Italy. Her life after retirement was full and happy and she was a proud Auntie Kathy with her brother Charlie's children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her brother Charles Gates, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and his children, Jared of Hilo, Hawaii and Molly Greenwood-Gates of Victoria and grandchildren, Seth and Jaxon of Hilo and Reed Sena and Georgia Lynne of Victoria. She will be greatly missed.

Kathryn has requested in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to benefit Saint Mark's or the Irving Chorale be offered. A memorial service will be held at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church, corner of O'Connor and 6th Street, Irving, Texas on Thursday, January 23, at 10:30am, followed by a reception/lunch in the parish hall.
Jack Richard (Rick) Harding Jr.

RickHarding.jpgJack Richard Harding, Jr., known to his family as Rick or Ricky, beloved father, son, brother and friend, left us to join Lord's heavenly choir on January 25, 2011 at the age of 58. Rick was born on March 31, 1952 in Stephenville, Texas. After receiving his higher education at Tarleton State University, with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Music Education, he left Stephenville to share his talent and love for music as a Junior High Choir Teacher in south Texas. Shortly after marrying his second wife and having a precious daughter, he left teaching and began a second career as a Pharmaceutical Sale Rep and remained in that career for 25 years.

Rick always remained in the arts and performed in plays, was a member of several Chorales, loved blowing his trumpet, and would be ready to perform any time or any where there were music and a spotlight. If you didn't have the music for him, he just happened to always carry his infamous "pitch pipe" in his pocket for on the spot performances! He had a true passion for music and an incredible God-given talent for singing. What an amazing First Tenor voice! Everyone LOVED to watch Rick perform and hear him sing. He had such a tremendous love for life, music, challenging conversations, quips and most of all ... his family and friends. We could always count on him to make our day brighter with a corny joke, silly pun, or his quirky smile.

Rick was truly a blessing to this world and to all who knew him. We love you and will miss you more than words can express. Although we have lost a great man, Heaven has gained a singing Saint!
Betty Beaty

bettybeaty.jpgBetty was a charter member of the Chorale and held the office of Librarian all but two years of her membership. She was a Board member for much of her time with the Chorale and served passionately to impart the Chorale to Irving and abroad. Betty never went halfway into anything and felt a personal commitment to the Chorale to account for every piece of music it owned, earning herself the esteemed title of “The Sheriff.” Though she was well educated and highly recognized as an educator in both public schools and in the service of H & R Block as a Tax Professional and Trainer, she felt her greatest accomplishment was establishing a Chorale fund to be used to finance and maintain the music library. In her honor, the Chorale named the fund The Betty Beaty Music Library Fund.

To members of the Chorale who knew Betty, a standout memory of her was on the Chorale’s tour to England in 1999 where she decided to “roast” the conductor at the farewell dinner. She rewrote one of the songs sung on tour to “fit” the situation and conducted the choir in the new arrangement to the hilarious delight of all.





Cecil Ethridge

To everyone who knew and loved him, Cecil Ethridge was the epitome of Santa Claus—from the rosey cheeks to the beard to the belly that bounced like a bowl full of jelly. He always had that jolly twinkle in his eye and that spring in his step that endeared him to everyone he met.

Cecil grew up in Oak Cliff, graduating from Sunset High School. He met the love of his life, Arta, while attending Lubbock Christian College. They had three children. He was active in his local church and in recent years led the church choir. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service to perfect his favorite hobby, golf.

Cecil loved to sing. Those who roomed with him on trips quickly learned that he woke up singing and went to bed singing. He sang with many choruses in the metroplex, including The Irving Quartet, The Dallas Civic Chorus, and the Irving Chorale.

Cecil's kind, gentle spirit will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. But we know there are many happy kids in heaven who are surely waiting in line to sit on his lap.

Norma Painter

Norma and her husband, John, became members of the Chorale in the early 1990s. Norma had almost perfect attendanceNormaP.jpgat rehearsals, choir events, and concerts, even through John’s bout with cancer and with her own failing health before her recent death. Norma was a garment designer and an exceptionally skilled seamstress. She not only designed two of the standard costumes the ladies of the Chorale have worn, but she also personally sewed all of the dresses of the most recent design. Like the alto part she sang in Chorale, Norma contributed harmony to the lives of her family and friends.

To members of the Chorale who knew Norma, a standout memory was of the tour to Toronto, Canada, where she placed a bet on a horse race for the very first time. She took suggestions and then decided to place a $2.00 bet to win, to place, and to show. Her horse came in first, and she won it all. Then she did a Norma thing—she quit while she was ahead.
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