Warren Thaxton, Janlyn’s father-in-law, passed away this week. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Warren Thaxton Endowed Scholarship for Trombone at HSU.
Here is the obituary:
Warren Glenn Thaxton, 81, of Abilene, Texas, passed away at 3:23 p.m., August 14, 2013, at Windcrest Healthcare Center.
Interment will be at Elmwood Cemetery, Garden of Peace, 5750 Hwy. 277 South, Abilene, at 11 a.m. followed by a family lunch provided by friends at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, August 19, 2013, at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, 701 S. Pioneer Drive. Officiating is Jeff Reid, minister of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, and Jack Ridlehoover, retired minister of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church. Arrangements are by Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6440 Buffalo Gap Rd. Visitation is 4-6 p.m., Sunday, August 18.
Warren was born in Abilene to LeRoy Thaxton and Razzie Mae Thaxton on April 21, 1932. He attended Abilene public schools where he became interested in music at an early age. Warren began playing trombone in the sixth grade band at South Junior High School. He was in the Abilene High School band under Prof. Raymond Bynum.
In 1948, Warren entered Hardin Simmons University where he was a member of the Cowboy Band. It was also at HSU that Warren met Laura Fay McBeth. They were married on June 9, 1952, in Irving, Texas. Laura’s father officiated the wedding.
During the Korean War, Warren joined the Air Force and played trombone in the 669th Air Force Band stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. In 1953, he again entered Hardin Simmons, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Music degree in 1955.
Warren’s first teaching assignment was to begin a band program in Trent, Texas. In 1957, he became the junior high band director in Colorado City, Texas. In 1958, he received a master’s degree from Southern College of Fine Arts.
Following an assignment as band director in Breckenridge, Texas, Warren returned to Abilene in 1961 to become the first band director of the newly completed Madison Junior High School. In 1966, he became only the second band director at Cooper High School. Under his tenure, Cooper’s band tripled in size and earned a string of Sweepstakes awards. During his thirteen years as Cooper band director, Warren taught hundreds of students who went on to become band directors or professional musicians.
In 1979, Warren became assistant band director at Abilene High School. He helped with the Eagle Band and taught beginning students at many of the middle schools in Abilene. He retired in 1997 after 42 years of teaching band.
While retired from teaching, Warren never retired from music. For years, he played with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also a regular with the Abilene Community Band and the orchestra at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
In 2000, Warren received the most prestigious honor given by the Texas Bandmaster Association. He was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Texas Bandmaster’s Hall of Fame.
Warren is preceded in death by daughter Tamara Lynn and by his parents.
He is survived by Laura, his wife of 61 years, and two sons, Eric and Kirk; by his daughters-in-law Janlyn and Kristi; and by his grandchildren Joshua, Kaitlin, Kyle, Hayley and her husband Steve Hughes, and Matthew and his wife Akane.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Tamara Thaxton Memorial French Horn Scholarship at Abilene Christian University, P.O. Box 29132, Abilene, Texas, 79699, and the Warren Thaxton Endowed Scholarship for Trombone at Hardin Simmons University, P.O. Box 16100, Abilene, Texas, 79698.
The family wishes to extend its sincere thanks to Dr. George Dawson for his wisdom, encouraging words, and guidance during this difficult time.