Walter E. Urben

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Walter E. Urben

Walter Edward Urben, a retired Professor of Music at the University of North Alabama, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. He was 87.

The funeral service will be at the First United Methodist Church, Florence, on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Mike Pope and the Rev. Sam Hardie officiating. Burial will follow in Greenview Memorial Park. Visitation for family and friends will be at Elkins Funeral Home, Friday, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

Mr. Urben earned a Bachelor of Music with a major in Public School Music from College of the Pacific, a Bachelor of Music in Piano from University of Illinois, a Master of Music in Piano from Indiana University and an Advanced Certificate in Music Education from University of Illinois. At Juilliard School of Music, New York City, he studied under Karl Friedburg. He spent two years in the U.S. Army and played with the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco.

He studied in the summers in Europe at American Conservatore of Music of Ecole Des Deau Arts, Fontainebleau, France, under Mlle. Nadia Boulanger and Master lessons with Clifford Curzon and Robert Casadesus. He played clarinet with Huntsville Civic Symphony and taught 33 years before retiring in 1992, at the University of North Alabama as Professor of Music.

He held membership in Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lamda honorary scholastic fraternity, A.G.O., M.T.N.A., A.A.U.P., M.E.N.C. and the Honor Society at UNA. He was a member of the Florence Music Study Club and formed and directed the Florence Piano Ensemble directing six to eight local pianists for many years.

Mr. Urben was Director of Music at North Wood United Methodist Church for 20 years, played piano and organ for First United Methodist Church 15 years combined and 10 years at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In addition, he was a United Methodist lay leader.

He loved gardening, playing tennis, organizing recitals at UNA and playing piano and organ for anyone that asked.

He is survived by a son, Stephan Urben (Joy), of Huntsville, Dennise Urben Lee (Leland), of Florence, and Pamela Urben, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; grandchildren, Krystle Duncan (James), of Florence, and Amanda Utley (Seth), of Tuscumbia; great-grandchildren, Christopher Faulk and Matthew Duncan, both of Florence.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Gottfried and Modena Urben; his wife, Josanne Knox Urben; and a brother, Allen Milton Urben.

Pallbearers will be James Duncan, Seth Utley, Leland Cutlip, Rob Wells, Bucky Beaver and Daniel Boone. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Ferguson Sunday School Class.

The family would like to thank Dr. McFall, Dr. Kalliath, Dr. Webb and nurses and staff in the ICU unit at ECM Hospital.

Elkins Funeral Home, Florence is assisting the family.
Funeral Home
Elkins Funeral Home - Florence
1535 Hermitage Dr.  Florence, AL 35630
256-764-0221
Funeral Home Details
Published in Florence Times Daily on Feb. 28, 2013
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