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Dr. Elwood H. Brown

Dr. Elwood H. Brown

Corpus Christi, TX

Our dear loved one, composer, poet, and mentor Elwood entered life eternal on Saturday July 26, 2014.

He was born Elwood Hansel, on April 30, 1930 to John Hansel and Esther Lydia Arnst Brown in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Elwood attended school in Ft. Morgan, Colorado and graduated from Ft. Morgan High School in 1948. Elwood pursued a degree in Music Education at Ottawa University, Kansas and graduated in 1952. There he met Doris Risinger and they married on May 25, 1952. From this union three children were born; Kathleen Ann, Michael Carl, and Gerald Alan.

Elwood started his teaching career as a middle school and high school teacher of music, French, and Art, in Spring Hill, Kansas and Independence, Missouri. After earning his Masters degree (1956) and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1968, the family moved to Dickinson, North Dakota. He spent the next 25 years as the head Choral Director of the Dickinson State University Department of Music.

One of the most popular performances every year was Handels complete "Messiah" done with full orchestra, choral union members, and guest soloists from around the nation. He commissioned choral works for the university from nationally known composers such as Houston Bright, Emma Lou Diemer, Alan Hovhaness, Alice Parker, Weston Noble, Jane Marshall, and Robert Shaw to name a few. Each of these outstanding composers came to DSU and worked with his students. Elwood was the Northern Tier Chair of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and an active member of national and state choral and music organizations. His choirs were invited to perform at many conventions around the United States. Dr. Browns career was recognized with numerous awards such as the DSU Teacher of the Year honor in 1991, the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce Award in 1992, and the DSU Alumni Blue Feather Award for outstanding service in 1999. Elwood also served each Sunday as Music Minister for the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota for 22 years and shared his passion for music with hundreds of parishioners.

Retirement brought the Browns to Corpus Christi, Texas in 1993. Elwood opened a private voice studio, and assisted the Music Department at First United Methodist Church. He sang in the chancel choir, and was a founding member of the Windjammers Mens ensemble and sang in the Corpus Christi Chorale. He was a member of the Living Word Sunday School Class, and a graduate/facilitator of Disciple Bible Study. He was the past president of the Thursday Music Club of Corpus Christi, and Corpus Christi Music Teachers Association.

He enjoyed many travels throughout the United States, Europe and Israel with family and friends, taking choirs to competitions and concert tours throughout his university career. Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Romania, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, North Wales, England, and Canada have all have the honor of his choirs performing in some of their most austere concert halls and churches.

Elwood is preceded by his parents, wife Doris, son Gerald Alan, and grandson Gerald, Jr. into life eternal.

Surviving to carry on his legacy are daughter Kathleen (John) Fowler of Corpus Christi, Texas; son Michael Carl Brown of Phoenix, Arizona; daughter-in-law Virginia Brown (Gerald, deceased) of Wichita, Kansas.

Grandson Matthew (Jennifer) Fowler of Richardson, Texas; granddaughters Jessica (Scott) Medcalf, of Corpus Christi; Faith, Abbey, and Michelle Brown of Wichita, Kansas, and 4 great grandchildren, Caleb and Joshua Medcalf, and Olivia and Luke Fowler. He is also survived by his sister, Joan Neville of Lafayette, Colorado and numerous nieces and nephews, close friends, former and current students.

A memorial service to celebrate Elwoods life will be held at First United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 8th. Reverends Greg Hackett and Gloria Lear will preside.

Private family services and final rest will be in the Coal Creek Cemetery, Valley Falls, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christ in the Arts program of First United Methodist Church, 900 S. Shoreline, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401.

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