Dr. Louise M. Alton, a life-long music educator, Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of North Texas, died on Saturday, December 29 at the age of 97, in Denton, Texas. She was born May 3, 1915, in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William Hugh Miller and Annie Evans Miller, her husband, Charles Irving Alton, her brothers, William and Robert Miller, and her sisters, Kathleen Miller Stanger and Audrey Miller Kerr.
She is survived by nieces and nephews, including Anthony Kerr and wife Karen of Baton Rouge, Charles Kerr and wife Marsha of Waxhaw, North Carolina, Patricia Tally of Victoria, Texas, and Richard Stanger and Barbara Emrys, both of California. She is also survived by several beloved grand nephews and nieces.
She obtained her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. While at Louisiana State University, she was a charter member of the Phi Mu Sorority chapter on campus. During World War II, she served a commission with the Red Cross as a music therapist in military hospitals. In 1947, she married flight officer Charles Alton. Widowed 3 years later, she dedicated herself to teaching music and later to training music educators. She taught elementary and secondary vocal music, piano, and choral music in several school systems in Louisiana, Alabama, and New Mexico. She served as the first woman president of the Louisiana Music Educators Association from 1962-1966 and, in 1986, was inducted into their Hall of Fame. In 1963, she received her Ph.D.degree from Columbia University, New York City. After directing the undergraduate music education program at Louisiana Tech University for six years, she joined the School of Music at the University of North Texas in 1968, where she taught Music Education and Voice until her retirement in 1980.
Throughout her life, Louise was an active member of many local and state organizations related to music education, the arts, and history. She was a long-time member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denton and served on their vestry for many years. She was a resident of Good Samaritan Village from 2004 until her death.
Her family members would like to express their gratitude for the excellent care she received at Good Samaritan. She had many caregivers over the years, all of whom showed her so much love, respect and patience. Her family also extends heartfelt gratitude for the care and concern provided by American Hospice of Denton.Special thanks to Dr. Terrence Moore for being a special physician and friend to Louise over several decades.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, January 5 at 10 a.m. at Roselawn Memorial Park, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government Street, is in charge of arrangements.