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Charles S. Wilhite

Charles S. Wilhite
August 5, 1929 -  February 2, 2018

Charles Stanford Wilhite, age 88, Midland University music professor (1963-2005) and local church organist, passed to his eternal rest on 2 February 2018. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Ann Wiegman Wilhite.

Born 5 August 1929 in Myra TX to the Rev. Charles Stanford and Bessie Peay Wilhite, Wilhite graduated from Dallas High School and Hendrix College. He earned a masters of music from Southern Methodist University, a masters of sacred music from Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Iowa (1968). He did summer study at Boston College, Brown University, Eastman School of Music, the Royal School of Church Music (UK), and universities of Kansas, Michigan, and Vienna. He with wife Ann spent spring semesters in London (1972) and as a University of Kansas guest fellow (1983).

Among the “pioneers” rediscovering American music, the Wilhites found and performed American music for one piano, four hands. Wilhite’s publications include entries in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and New Grove Dictionary of American Music.

At Midland he taught music history, theory, organ, and piano. Always innovative and willing to expand his knowledge, which included learning from students, Wilhite as music department chair reorganized the curriculum to fit a comprehensive musicianship model and taught courses in the new fields of American and global music. He also taught in the interdisciplinary Odyssey program, was a freshman advisor, and headed Midland’s first assessment council.

He was Midland’s chapel organist and successively organist at Fremont’s First Methodist, St. James Episcopal, and First Congregational churches. He served on the Nebraska Diocesan Liturgical Commission, the joint Episcopal/ELCA Leadership Program for Musicians in Small Parishes, and was among those trained to introduce the Lutheran Book of Worship.

An avid reader, Charles in later years was never without his Kindle. He enjoyed travel, hiking in the Rockies, cooking, wine tasting, word games, and opera.

Services are 2 p.m. Thursday February 8 at Sinai Lutheran Church, Fremont (950 E 8th ) with The Rev. Sarah Miller of St. James Episcopal officiating. Instead of flowers memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.

Online guestbook at www.Ludvigsenmortuary.com