Carl Lobitz

Carl McComb Lobitz, 81, left this life for good on January 18, 2014. Those who went before him include David Andrew Lobitz, beloved son, Carline Lobitz, sister, and Carl H. and Catherine M. Lobitz, parents. Family members who will miss him are Virginia S. Lobitz, devoted wife; Carl (Alyssa) and Lawrence (Veronica) Lobitz, sons and grandchildren, Lawrence Lobitz, Jr., Carl Austin Lobitz, Bridgett and Allison Lobitz. Born February 15, 1932, Carl was introduced to music at an early age by his mother, Catherine, an accomplished pianist and flamboyant performer. He discovered a supernatural talent for playing the trombone in the fifth grade, and his musical abilities only expanded from there, eventually landing him at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was invited to play with a faculty-only quintet. Carl's love of music led him to become a band director, and while he was teaching at Crockett Junior High in Odessa, Texas, he met the girl who would soon become his lifetime companion and fellow music teacher, Virginia, when she wandered into the band hall one day asking to borrow some instruments. The couple married in 1958 and quickly produced three sons, settling down in Odessa. But Carl wasn't finished with his education quite yet. The University of Oklahoma, with its nationally known marching band program, beckoned, and the family moved to Norman in order for Carl to pursue his doctorate in music education, which he achieved with flying colors in 1969. Carl's first job after graduation was band director for Montana State University, and the family, now only four, moved to Bozeman, Montana. Carl's career at MSU was notable for the number of nationally known clinicians he brought to the school, and his promotion of the more modern band programs and techniques to this previously backward region. After five years, the family moved back to Texas and eventually settled in San Antonio in 1976 after a brief time in Corpus Christi. Carl became the band director at McCollum High School, a position he held for 16 years. During this time, as in Montana, he took an ugly duckling of a band program and turned it into a majestic swan, receiving statewide recognition for his achievements in the Texas Legislature. After McCollum, Carl spent the twilight of his career as assistant band director at Holmes High School. You'd think that someone who put in the almost insane hours required of a high school band director would use their declining years to rest, but Carl plunged into retirement with the same energy and enthusiasm that he brought to all aspects of his life. He started playing dance jobs with the Al Sturchio Orchestra, became active in triathlons, and began collecting what he called "classic" cars, which were actually really bad examples of 1970s Detroit iron. He also began teaching brass lessons to local students, some of whom went on from his instruction to become accomplished musicians; some were accepted to nationally known music programs such as Eastman School of Music. In 2006, Carl was honored for his lifetime achievements in band directing and music education by induction into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame. From the record, it is apparent that the numbers of lives Carl touched through his love of music is incalculable. He left quickly and without pain, and his loved ones are sure that he is making music once again, wherever he is. The family will receive friends beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 24, 2014, at Porter Loring Mortuary North, 2102 North Loop 1604 East.
10:00 A.M.

Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Cemetery, 1701 Austin Highway.
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Published in Express-News on Jan. 22, 2014