Obituaries

Obituaries Earl Stormo

Earl Gordon Stormo, 77, of Sioux Falls, died Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002 after a long struggle with the complications of connective tissue disease.

Mr. Stormo was born at home on July 7, 1925 in Thomas, to James C. and Mabel Stemwedel Stormo. He graduated from Thomas High School, Augustana College, Springfield State College and the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

He served during World War II as an equestrian trainer with the U.S. Army Cavalry School.

He married Rosalyn Westre, daughter of Curtis and Berniece Abild Westre, on July 29, 1951 at Pleasant Valley Lutheran Church, rural Vermillion.

He taught in Doon, IA; White, and Sioux Falls. He administered Job Corps programs in New Mexico; Teacher Corps programs in Omaha; and was on the faculty of the University of Nebraska Omaha and Kilian Community College. In later years he and his wife operated the Book Nook, a Christian bookstore in Sioux Falls.

He is survived by his wife, Rosalyn; daughter Kari; sons Eric (Mary) and Lance; grandchildren Curt, Kyle, Amanda and Mikayla, all of Sioux Falls; siblings Milo (Claryce) of Helendale, CA, Charles (Helen) of Hayti, Mavis (Roy) Austin of Astoria, and Jerald (Marilyn) of Creswell, OR; 28 nieces and nephews; and in-laws LaVonne Stormo of Watertown, Pat Stormo of Astoria, and Carlan and Shirley Westre of San Diego, CA.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Carroll, of Hazel; a brother, Don, of Astoria; and two nieces.

He was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, Retired Teachers, American Legion, and several educational organizations.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy be addressed to the Earl Stormo Education Trust, First Lutheran Media Ministry or another memorial of your choice.

Services were Dec. 18 at First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls.

Ray T. DeVilbiss

Ray T. DeVilbiss, retired professor emeritus at The University of South Dakota (USD) and former director of the Sioux City Municipal Band for 18 years, died Friday, Dec. 13, 2002, at Edgewood Vista in Sioux Falls. He was 83. Born Jan. 9, 1919 in Chicago, IL, Mr. DeVilbiss was the younger of two children born to A. Bernard DeVilbiss and Irene Thomure DeVilbiss.

His early childhood was spent with his family in Chicago and later at Three Rivers, MI. After moving with his family to Missouri in 1934, he graduated in 1936 from Marshall High School in Marshall. Mr. DeVilbiss earned his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Missouri at Columbia and began his first teaching position in Unionville, MO. This teaching appointment was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a Naval communications officer in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Following the war, he completed his master's degree at the University of Missouri and resumed his teaching career, in 1946, as director of bands for the public school system in Winterset, IA.

In 1953, Mr. DeVilbiss accepted an appointment to join the music faculty at The University of South Dakota (USD) as director of bands. At USD, he developed and maintained an exemplary university band program until his retirement from the university in 1981. During his 28-year tenure at USD, Mr. DeVilbiss helped to educate, inspire and guide literally thousands of students in the classroom, his high brass applied studio, and the many university bands he directed.

Mr. DeVilbiss held a national reputation as an adjudicator, festival conductor and coordinator, clinician, trumpeter, and author. He was founder and director of the Upper Midwest Music Camp at USD from 1964-1981 and recipient of many awards including election to the most prestigious American Bandmasters Association and recognition as one of the 10 most outstanding band conductors in the U. S. by the 1974 School Musician Magazine.

Distinguished service awards include the South Dakota Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Citation for Outstanding Service (1986), Phi Beta Mu National Outstanding Service Award (1984), South Dakota Music Educators Association Service Award (1983), South Dakota Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame (1992) and Iowa Bandmasters Association Professional Service Award (1991).

Mr. DeVilbiss began playing professionally in dance bands at the age of 14 and continued performing with jazz groups throughout his life. He was instrumental in establishing the USD jazz band program. He held the position of principal trumpet in the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra for a number of years before his retirement. He also played solo trumpet with the Sioux City Municipal Band for 25 years before being named conductor of the ensemble in 1980, a position he held until 1997.

He was active in the community as a long time member of the Vermillion Lions Club and also served on the board of directors of the Shrine to Music. He was a member of the faculty Emeritus Club following his retirement from USD in 1981. In 1975, he received the Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans Award.

Surviving are his wife of 59 years, Margaret Clagett DeVilbiss, of Vermillion; two daughters, JoEllen DeVilbiss (Alexander) of Champaign, IL and Rae Lynne Baker of Winfield, KS; grandchildren Erik Benjamin and Marc Ryan Alexander; Amanda Ren� Zimmerman, Christi Lee and Steven Russell Baker; eight great grand children; a sister, Ora Bea (Peggy) DeVilbiss Davisson of Fayetteville, AR and two nieces, Beatrice Lynne Davisson and Cheryl Davisson Gracie.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Ray T. DeVilbiss Band Scholarship Fund at The University of South Dakota. Donations to this fund should be made payable to the Ray DeVilbiss Scholarship Fund, and mailed directly to: The Ray DeVilbiss Band Scholarship Fund, The University of South Dakota Foundation, Post Office Box 5555, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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