SPRINGFIELD - Georgia Bena Gher Luttrell, 80, of Springfield passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at St. John's Hospital.
She was born in Carbondale on Oct. 24, 1927, the daughter of George N. and Phylis Bena Gent Gher. She married Claude E. Luttrell on March 25, 1964, in Taylorville; he preceded her in death on Aug. 30, 1987.
Mrs. Luttrell was a teacher for 35 years. She was an assistant professor of music at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. She toured as a concert pianist through out the Gulf States. Marion was the next place where she served in a music capacity. She was the music supervisor in School District 2 of Williamson County. From there, she moved to Springfield, where 30 years were spent as a music teacher in Springfield District 186. Mrs. Luttrell was a choir director in several churches in Springfield; three of these churches were Douglas United Methodist Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church and Unity Church. During her years in Springfield, she served as a pianist with the Springfield Municipal Opera, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Theater Guild and the Springfield Municipal Choir. She also worked statewide as a clinician and music adjudicator.
Nationally, music took Georgia to Washington, D.C., where she served on the Board of Governors of the International Platform Association.
Mrs. Luttrell received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Music from Northwestern University in Evanston.
Before retirement, she was a member of the Springfield Education Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, National Education Association, Illinois Music Educators Association and the Music Teachers National Conference. Since her retirement, her poetry has appeared in publications by the American Poetry Association. She served as a singer in the Illinois Symphony Chorus and had become a world traveler. She also served on committees for the Illinois Governors Prayer Breakfast. Georgia was active in the Springfield Sertoma Club. She was a member of Springfield First Congregational Church and, as an accomplished pianist, she provided beautiful solos and duets for her church.
She is survived by her first cousins, Henry "Sparky" Gher of Springfield and Thomas (wife, Ann) Gher of Champaign; several second cousins; and her surrogate grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded by her parents and husband. She will be sorely missed.
Services are under the direction of Bisch Funeral Home West, 2931 S. Koke Mill Road, where friend can call from 1 p.m. until time of service at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, with the Rev. Brian Damrow officiating. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, in Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Springfield Sertoma Club.
Visit the online celebration of life at www.mem.com.