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Plains Edition Obituaries

, 74, longtime Ogallala resident died April 22, 2006, at Good Samaritan Hospital at Kearney.

She was born July 12, 1931, at Ogallala. She attended the Melrose country school in Arthur County through the eighth grade, and went to high school in Ogallala. She received her BA degree from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kan., in 1952. Her first teaching assignment was in Keith County with the Brule School System in 1954, where she continued to serve until 1958 when she resigned to complete her Master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo. She taught at Greeley High School for one semester before signing a contract in 1959 as Pueblo, Colo. Central High School’s director of vocal music.

During her 28 year tenure at Pueblo, she served 7 years as supervisor of vocal music for Dist. 60 and developed the elementary music program. She directed four productions of the Summer Musical for Parks and Recreation in Pueblo. These included productions of “South Pacific” in 1962 and 1971, “Camelot” in 1978, and “Guys and Dolls” in 1968.

In 1973 she was one of 110 singers selected to perform the Brahms Requiem for the National Convention of American Choral Directors under the direction of Robert Shaw.

She was active in Pueblo community activities. She served as Trustee and Chairperson of the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center Board, 6 years on the Pueblo Arts Council, several years on the Pueblo Symphony Board, directed a community chorus, and taught music education courses for Western State College as well as conducting numerous church choirs.

She was particularly active in enlisting minority students in music programs. She said, “During my almost three decades in music in Colorado I was privileged to teach students from some of the most musical cultures in the world. My life was enriched by these students and their music.”

She was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Association’s Hall of Fame in 1997 for her excellence in teaching and long-term community service. She retired in 1987 to live in Ogallala. She served as pianist for the Presbyterian Church at Keystone for the past ten years. Her hobbies included reading, listening to music and exploring the mountains of Colorado.

Survivors include her twin sister, Dorinne McKeag of Ogallala; sisters, Gail (Jim) Anderson of Ten Sleep, Wyo., and Mary Ann (Harlan) Anderberg of Arthur; brother, Delbert (Carolyn) McKeag of Ogallala; brother-in-law, Gene Nielsen of Ogallala and 17 nieces and nephews, Martin (Jackie) Nielsen of Loveland, Colo., Matt (Laura) Nielsen of Ogallala, Melody (Kelly) McGowen of Columbus, Kirsten (Tom) Macdissi of Ft. Calhoun, Elise (Kevin) Lockhart of Ogallala, Ruth (Don) Pike of Gerbas, Ore. , Marie Copland of Aberdeen, Wash., Joan (Dan) Wagner of Los Angeles, Calif., Mark (Lisa) McKeag of Ogallala, Burt (Pam) McKeag of North Platte, Andrea McKeag of Bainbridge Ind., Mary Lou (Dan) Fritts of Prairie Village, Kan., Jami Anderson of Green River, Wyo., Aaron (Sarah) Anderson of Ten Sleep, Wyo., Jo D.(David) Blessing of Elwood, Jeff (Sandy) Anderberg of Clarendon Texas, and Teeyl (Jeff) Chapman of Omaha.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Elaine Nielsen.

, 74, longtime Ogallala resident died April 22, 2006, at Good Samaritan Hospital at Kearney.

She was born July 12, 1931, at Ogallala. She attended the Melrose country school in Arthur County through the eighth grade, and went to high school in Ogallala. She received her BA degree from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kan., in 1952. Her first teaching assignment was in Keith County with the Brule School System in 1954, where she continued to serve until 1958 when she resigned to complete her Master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo. She taught at Greeley High School for one semester before signing a contract in 1959 as Pueblo, Colo. Central High School’s director of vocal music.

During her 28 year tenure at Pueblo, she served 7 years as supervisor of vocal music for Dist. 60 and developed the elementary music program. She directed four productions of the Summer Musical for Parks and Recreation in Pueblo. These included productions of “South Pacific” in 1962 and 1971, “Camelot” in 1978, and “Guys and Dolls” in 1968.

In 1973 she was one of 110 singers selected to perform the Brahms Requiem for the National Convention of American Choral Directors under the direction of Robert Shaw.

She was active in Pueblo community activities. She served as Trustee and Chairperson of the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center Board, 6 years on the Pueblo Arts Council, several years on the Pueblo Symphony Board, directed a community chorus, and taught music education courses for Western State College as well as conducting numerous church choirs.

She was particularly active in enlisting minority students in music programs. She said, “During my almost three decades in music in Colorado I was privileged to teach students from some of the most musical cultures in the world. My life was enriched by these students and their music.”

She was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Association’s Hall of Fame in 1997 for her excellence in teaching and long-term community service. She retired in 1987 to live in Ogallala. She served as pianist for the Presbyterian Church at Keystone for the past ten years. Her hobbies included reading, listening to music and exploring the mountains of Colorado.

Survivors include her twin sister, Dorinne McKeag of Ogallala; sisters, Gail (Jim) Anderson of Ten Sleep, Wyo., and Mary Ann (Harlan) Anderberg of Arthur; brother, Delbert (Carolyn) McKeag of Ogallala; brother-in-law, Gene Nielsen of Ogallala and 17 nieces and nephews, Martin (Jackie) Nielsen of Loveland, Colo., Matt (Laura) Nielsen of Ogallala, Melody (Kelly) McGowen of Columbus, Kirsten (Tom) Macdissi of Ft. Calhoun, Elise (Kevin) Lockhart of Ogallala, Ruth (Don) Pike of Gerbas, Ore. , Marie Copland of Aberdeen, Wash., Joan (Dan) Wagner of Los Angeles, Calif., Mark (Lisa) McKeag of Ogallala, Burt (Pam) McKeag of North Platte, Andrea McKeag of Bainbridge Ind., Mary Lou (Dan) Fritts of Prairie Village, Kan., Jami Anderson of Green River, Wyo., Aaron (Sarah) Anderson of Ten Sleep, Wyo., Jo D.(David) Blessing of Elwood, Jeff (Sandy) Anderberg of Clarendon Texas, and Teeyl (Jeff) Chapman of Omaha.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Elaine Nielsen.


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