Frances Emogene Truxal, died Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at Cumberland Crossing Nursing Home, Carlisle.
Born in Dayton, PA, she was a daughter of the late Daniel and Olive Whitacre and the widow of Jacob R. Truxal.
She graduated from IUP in 1944 with a Music Major and Social Studies Minor, also college honors. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi – honor society, a member of Delta Sigma Epsilon – social sorority, chairman of the Red Cross and an officer in many college organizations. Emogene was listed in 1943-44 issue of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. She was chosen by votes as one of the personalities on campus her senior year.
During summers she aided the WWII efforts by working in defense plants having been employed at Bell Aircraft, Buffalo, NY spare parts division. Also by making field wire for the U.S. Navy in Ambridge, PA.
Upon graduation in 1944, she was hired as vocal and instrumental director until the former band director returned in 1946. She was a director at New Kensington High School near Pittsburgh, a post she held from 1944 to 1948. She directed the Presbyterian Church choir in New Kensington during this period and studied private voice and violin in Pittsburgh. Additional credits toward a Masters Degree were taken at Carnegie-Mellon. She was a member of In & About Pittsburgh Music Educators and was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Press for an article on Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Music Circles. She organized and directed the first Trade School in what is now New Kensington’s Male Chorus of 60 voices. In 1948 she resigned her position and married Jacob R. Truxal and moved to Greensburg, PA where she was active in the music program at the Greensburg Presbyterian Church. During this period from 1949 to 1953 she directed the newly formed New Kensington Community Chorus of 100 adults which concertized in that region and gave the first time event of Handel’s “Messiah” in the New Kensington area.
Due to her husband’s position they changed their residence to Jersey Shore, PA where she was hired as Director of Music at Trinity United Methodist Church. She held that position until 1957 when she and her husband moved to Carlisle and they joined First United Church of Christ. Still active in music she volunteered for 17 years at Thornwald Home and was chairman of their Fine Arts Committee at First Church for many years. Major programs in all the arts were provided for the congregation and community for 30 plus years including bus trips to Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, VA, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, Hershey, Pittsburgh, etc. Especially enjoyable were yearly bus trips to the Metropolitan Opera where many times her former students would be performing in a particular opera and would entertain her bus people backstage.
She also taught elementary music one full year at Boiling Springs and several part time years in Carlisle School District.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by two sisters and one brother. Her husband died in 1995. She is survived by one sister, Avonelle Whitacre of Carlisle and two nieces and two nephews and their families.
A burial service with Rev. Lynn R. Schultz will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 13, 2011 at Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens, Carlisle. A memorial concert will be announced at a later date.
Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 219 North Hanover Street, Carlisle is in charge of the funeral arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fine Arts Fund at First United Church of Christ, 30 North Pitt Street, Carlisle, PA 17013.