James Edward "Jim" Matheny

Posted: Mon 7:44 AM, Nov 19, 2012
September 5, 1932 - November 4, 2012

James Edward (Jim) Matheny passed peacefully from this life on November 4, 2012 at the age of 80 years. From beginning to end, he lived a grace-filled life of music and creativity. He announced his passion for music at 18 months by "directing" Alexander's Ragtime Band while sitting on an upturned seat at a movie theater. He graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of (Instrumental) Music in 1955 and completed his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Westminster Choir College in 1958. Among the churches he served as Minister of Music was First Methodist in Bryan (1970-73).

To his last days, Jim treasured the memories of his career in Texas high school music programs including Allen Academy in Bryan (1969-73) and A&M Consolidated in College Station (1973-83). He felt honored to work with young people whose talents and achievements were recognized at the district, region, and state levels and showcased in productions of popular stage musicals. Known for his wise counsel and for expecting and attaining the highest standards of musical excellence, he nurtured a lifelong love of music among hundreds of students. He is often remembered not only as a gifted director but also for his commitment as a teacher and mentor of how to live life fully, honestly, and lovingly.

Jim's greatest passion was his loving wife and lifelong companion, Connie. They raised five children into honorable and accomplished adults. Michael, their eldest, died in 1987. In addition to Connie, Jim is survived by his children: Doug of Oklahoma City; Paul and wife Nancy of Portland, Oregon; Jennifer of Melbourne, Australia; and Jonathan and wife Evelyne of Lancaster, UK; grandchildren Jillian Cole of Bend, Oregon; Peter and wife Amy of Memphis, Tennessee; Mark of Beaverton, Oregon; and Mackenzie and Mikayla of Lancaster; great-grandson Silas Lunsford of Bend; sister-in-law Cordelia of Oklahoma City; nieces Kathy Leasure and Judy Myers of Oklahoma City; nephew Mark of Aspen, Colorado; and cherished cousins, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, December 1, 2012 in the chapel of First Presbyterian Church, 1001 NW 25th St. in Oklahoma City, followed by a reception. A combined reunion of members of groups he conducted is now being planned for spring 2013.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice : two of Jim's favorites were St. Jude Children's Research and Operation Smile.

"Let's all join in harmony…"
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