In Memoriam

UMTA has been blessed to have many great members throughout the years. Inevitably, the time comes when some of these members pass away, often leaving a great legacy behind with family members, students, and with our UMTA family.

As we are made aware of these individuals, we will post the information we receive here, with links to their obituaries when possible.

Please contact one of the website chairs if you are aware of a UMTA member’s death.



Barbara Elison was a beloved music teacher for over 70 years. She was loved for her kindness and known for her talents as a pianist, accompanist, and teacher. She accompanied many organizations throughout northern Utah including the Utah Valley Opera Association. In 2013 Barbara received the UMTA Legacy Award for her wonderful years of service. Barbara was a member of the Provo/Orem chapter. Barbara Elison’s obituary



Morris Franklin Lee enjoyed a life filled with a passion for music.  As a graduate of Julliard School of Music, he enriched many lives through his service as a teacher, mentor, and friend. Among many acknowledgements of his talent for teaching, Morris received both Teacher of the Year and Educator of the Year awards from Granite School District and was loved by all his students. He was a member of the Davis chapter.  Morris Lee’s obituary



Richard Bruce Wursten (Dick) passed away on July 2, 2023 at the age of 85. His life was filled with music from a very young age. He earned a Master’s Degree in piano at the University of Illinois and his PhD in Music History the University of Wisconsin. He served many with his musical skills here in the states as well as abroad. Dick Wursten was a long time member of the Bridgerland chapter and will be missed.
Dick Wursten’s obituary



Betty Jean Beecher enjoyed a life filled with family, friends, and music. Her lifelong love for music came from her dear mother. Over the years, Betty has blessed the lives of countless students with her extraordinary talent of teaching piano; her gift lives on through them. Betty was an active member of the Bridgerland Chapter. Betty Jean’s obituary



Marla Gault taught piano throughout her adult life, guiding students until the very end. For decades, every December on Beethoven’s birthday, her students would perform while family and friends indulged in homemade butter cookies, spiked eggnog and laughter late into the night. She had been a member of UMTA/Sandy Chapter. Marla’s obituary



Sally Jan Lindsay Sanders sang and played the piano from an early age; it remained her life’s work and comfort. She taught piano and touched the lives of many others through her love of music. Sally Sanders was a long-time member of the Sandy Chapter. Sally’s obituary



Carolee Gale Eriksson, a music inspiration, returned to her heavenly home on Monday, May 30, 2022. Her legacy of joyful living and musical appreciation lives on in her family, hundreds of piano students, musicians, and music teachers inspired by her throughout the world. Carolee Ericksson was a beloved member of UMTA-Davis Chapter. Carolee’s obituary



Gary “Professor” Amano, age 73, passed away unexpectedly in his home on December 23, 2021.
He was a master musician and pianist whose profound and pure love for teaching touched the lives of countless students and individuals throughout the community and world.
Gary’s lifelong commitment to music was driven by a rare and selfless dedication to his many students. Though he is no longer with us, his legacy will continue to impact generations to come. Gary’s obituary


Dr. Diana Page – Ogden Chapter
Diana’s obituary



Elaine Holbrook – Davis Chapter
Elaine’s obituary





Dr. Lynn Dean, former UMTA President (2008-2010), passed away July 23rd after 3 weeks of fighting complications due to Covid19. He contributed so much to UMTA and all he taught and with whom he had association.

His legacy of always bringing Crispy Creme donuts to every UMTA Board Meeting, along with his jokes and light-hearted personality will be sorely missed by all of his friends and colleagues throughout UMTA, the State of Utah, and New Mexico where he left an equally strong legacy.
“On through the fog, Kimosabe!!”        Read Lynn’s obituary here.


Dr. Bonnie Winteron, was a long-time member of UMTA, and was on the piano faculty at the University of Utah.
Bonnie’s obituary




Ellen Baggaley, UMTA member from the Sandy chapter passed away recently on August 15, 2021.
Ellen’s obituary




Janet Mann, UMTA member, recently passed away due to a massive heart attack after complications with a Delta variant of Covid that broke through her vaccination. Janet’s obituary




Long-time UMTA member, and past president of the Salt Lake Chapter, Marlene Hill passed away August 21, 2021.
Marlene’s obituary