Phyllis Selby Tremmel
1916 - 2020
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Tremmel, Phyllis Selby
July 11, 1916 - April 24, 2020

The beloved Phyllis Selby Tremmel of Denver passed away peacefully at the age of 103, on April 24, 2020 after a fall. Born July 11, 1916 to Dr. Claude A. (M.D.) and Mable Duke Selby, she grew up in North Platte, Nebraska with two younger sisters and a brother. Phyllis was a gifted pianist and organist, earning a Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1938, and her Master of Music Degree in piano from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver (DU) in 1950. She lovingly mentored hundreds of students as an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Whatley Chapel at Colorado Women's College (CWC) in Denver from 1945 until 1981, when the faculty awarded her the title Professor Emerita. The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music retained Phyllis as retired faculty for the rest of her life.
She was a member of American Guild of Organists for more than sixty years, and founded "Friends of Whatley Chapel" to preserve the CWC Chapel, it's expansive pipe organ, and stained-glass windows. DU Chancellor Daniel Ritchie appointed Phyllis to the selection committee for the 65-bell Williams Carillon in the Ritchie Center tower in 1999, and she performed her own composition for the carillon's inaugural concert. While she was a highly trained classical musician, Phyllis studied and promoted music of all world cultures as an educator in the field of ethnomusicology. She was an avid supporter of Denver's Spirituals Project and the Balinese Gamelan Tunas Mekar.
Phyllis is preceded in death by her siblings, her first husband, P. Douglas Gough, and her second husband, Dickerson Tremmel. She is survived by her two daughters - Marcia Tremmel Goldstein of Denver and Carol Tremmel of California; her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family. The family wishes to express gratitude to the staff at Balfour @ Riverfront Park for their loving care for Phyllis during the challenging days of the virus shutdown.
A full celebration of life will be scheduled at a future date. On July 11, 2020 at 11 a.m. Phyllis's family and friends will gather informally for a short carillon performance by Prof. Carol Lens on the Williams Carillon on the DU campus (2240 Buchtel Blvd S, Denver, CO 80210) safely gathering outdoors on the lawn or parking nearby to hear the bells in honor of Phyllis's 103+ year life of dedication to music, the arts, education, and the human spirit. The short concert will also be streamed online at the Williams Carillon Facebook Page: Donations in memory of Phyllis Tremmel may be made to: The Spirituals Project, The Lamont Society Carillon Fund, and/or Gamelan Tunas Mekar.
Photos and a more detailed biography will be available on the Monarch Society website:

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Published in Denver Post from Jun. 27 to Jun. 29, 2020.
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1 entry
June 28, 2020
Very compassionate instructor; loved learning from her in a very short period of time
Deb ONeilLewis, DMin
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