As many of you already know, our fellow barbershopper, Tucson chapter member, coach, and mentor, Conrad (Connie) Keil, passed away Tuesday, May 30. He had been struggling with cardiac issues and advanced dementia. His wife, Kathy, and I have been trying to reach each other to talk (I've been out of town), and I may be able to give you more information after I've spoken with her. Keith Brunson (of Sonoran Sound) stopped by the house and visited with her recently, and much of what I know is through him.
There have beem some requests for information about funeral, visitation, possibly singing, etc. I can tell you that Connie will not have a traditional funeral or visitation. Kathy is possibly planning some sort of memorial "celebration of life" later in the summer, perhaps August. Plans are sketchy, but right now it looks as though it will be a small gathering with a few friends and may or may not involve planned singing. I'll be able to tell you more later.
Connie was a 50-year barbershopper, singer in more quartets than anyone knows, a director of several choruses (he directed Houston Tidelanders to an Internation silver medal). He also was a respected Presentation judge and coach to many choruses and quartets. He was a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society's Board of Directors and the Southwest District Hall of Fame. I had the privilege of sininging with him in the Sonoran Sound Quartet for 12 years and benefited immensely from his creativity, experience, and understanding of performance. He taught me much. But more than that, he was a wonderful friend and, simply, one of the best people I've known. I feel an immense sense of sadness and loss this week. On Sunday, April 23, Sonoran Sound (with Paul Kriegshauser ably filling in on tenor) sang for Connie at his home. Thanks to Kathy for making that happen. We sang for over an hour. Connie listened with obvious delight and was able to sing along with us a bit. It will be one of my enduring barbershop memories.
For now, let's remember Connie in our thoughts and prayers, Later, we may be able to pay our respects in some more formal way,
Connie's grandson Christian's, Facebook page contains condolences and reminiscenses of Connie.
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