In Memoriam


Barry Brown, Glen Mills, PA, 1939 - Sept 16, 2021

Society Member M0996, joined August 15, 2020


Byron E. 'Barry' Brown, 82, of Glen Mills passed away suddenly at home on September 16, 2021. Barry was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he graduated from Sparrows Point High School in 1957. After high school, Barry joined the workforce and then enrolled in the University of Baltimore where he graduated with a B.S. and an M.B.A. in 1986. A proud American, Barry served in the Army National Guard from 1962-1965.

Throughout his adult life, he was an active member of the Wallingford Presbyterian Church, an athlete who exercised every day, a former football, baseball and softball player.

Barry was a member of the Dundalk, MD Chapter and a 50 year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. While singing in countless quartets, he was a four-time Mid-Atlantic District Champion as the bass of the Union Jacks ('70), B&O Connection ('78), Curtain Call ('83), and Tradewinds ('89). One of his proudest accomplishments was finishing 3rd at the 1979 International with the B&O, and anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing them sing will never forget that sound. 

Paul Eugene Ogle  July 31, 1942 - August 16, 2021  Member C0293   Charter member joined October 26, 2018

He was retired from Lowe's Home Improvement Store in Kirkwood and was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Crystal City, Missouri, and Knights of Columbus #1230.

Paul was a member of the Rivertown Sound Barbershop Quartet, and he was a past president and member of the Barbershop Harmony Society for 61 years. His wonderful bass voice will be remembered and  cherished for generations to come. 



The Aliens

   Jim Richards - Tenor; Bob Wiggins - Lead ;

       Jay Thornberry - Bass;  Chuck Olson - Bari


Jay Howard Thornberry  - May 16, 2039 - July 10, 2021

Saint Helens, Oregon,  SPPBSQSUS Member M1271 since August 2020


Jay joined barbershop in 1967 in the Mount Hood Chapter (now defunct).

He had a love for barbershop singing and became a member of The

Aliens Quartet in 1970, singing Bass - they were well known for their

comedy entertainment, and traveled extensively, singing throughout the

US & Canada performing at chapter shows. They went to Viet Nam in

1971 on a USO Tour. The Aliens singing can be found on YouTube, Their

'Saturday Night Surprise,' performance at the local 1991 District Contest

became very popular among the barbershop community. They also

organized 6 barbershop cruises, from 1993 - 2003, the largest with

about 250 fellow Barbershop singers participating. The Aliens were

together for approximately 35 years and were members of QCED -

Quartet Champs of Evergreen District. The last chorus Jay was a

member of  The Tualatin Valley Harmony Masters, part of the

Evergreen District, the chorus is located in Forest Grove, OR. 

Jay celebrated 54 years in the Society.

John 'Mac' Sabol, Saracuse, NY 1958 - May 4, 2021

Society Founding Member F0069, joined May 9, 2018

John "Mac" Mackenzie Sabol born in Sumter, South Carolina. He graduated with a Masters degree in Choral conducting from Bowling Green State University (OH) where he met his wife, Julianna, also majoring in music. It was at BGSU that Mac was first introduced to barbershop singing by BGSU voice faculty and choral director, Richard Mathey. From that time on, Mac became active both as a director and member of barbershop choruses and was also lead (and baritone) in quartets in cities where he lived and worked (Platteville, WI; Cincinnati, OH; Syracuse, NY; Buffalo, NY; Binghamton, NY). As a barber shopper, Mac's talent lay in his leadership roles. He played a prominent and integral role across Seneca Land most recently and beyond for many, many years. He truly touched the lives of all he worked with. As one Seneca


Land barbershopper wrote: "His soaring voice, gracious heart, and constant positive presence will be sorely missed by all of us."


He was a director for several choruses, a district quartet champion multiple times and in two different voice parts, as well as the Sencaland district barbershopper of the year.


Mac sang lead in the 'Just 4 Men' quartet. The quartet said "Most of all, Mac was our friend . . . . . . and all of the members of “Just 4 Men,” in both its’ most recent and past configurations, will miss him greatly.

Michael Calhoun - April 27, 2021
Member Number - M0714   Joined 13 Aug 2019
Mike was raised and lived in Brooklyn, New York until moving to Virginia and Florida in his retirement.  Music and singing were a huge part of his life.  He was a man of man, many songs. A dediated barbershop chorus singer, he sang and organized the Westchester County, N.Y. Gold Chordsman chorus; and sang with the Big Apply, N.U. chorus, Alexandria V.A. Harmonizers; Harrisonburg, VA Harmonizers; and the Chrosu of the Keys, FL.  He was a member of SPEBSQSA for 51 years, was elected to the Westchester Chorus Hall of Fame in 1994 and founded the Harrisonburg, VA chapter in 2008.

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Lacy Kyle - July 25, 1961 - April 21, 2021
Lacy was charter member 355 and joined us in December 2018.  He was Vice President of Lodge #2 and Anvil Chorus  in Birmingham, UK. Lacy, a bass singer, also sang with the Classmates Quartet. Henry Foster said "Lacy possessed huge musical talents which he brought to bear in helping other singers in his section as well as coaching the Chorus on some aspects of music theory.  He was one of our in-house experts who could enhance the internally managed club website and media pages."  Lacy was well known throughout the UK and will be missed. 

Jim Lunak - June 9, 1937 - April 4, 2021


Jim was member number 703 and joined in July 2019

John Weeks - September 27, 1950 - March 24, 2021Age 70, of St. Paris, Ohio, passed away on March 24, 2021. John was member number 854 and joined in June 2020.  John was an Air Force Veteran.  In the early 80's he directed the Gold Coast Chorus in Arroyo Grande, CA. and was an Assistant Director of Sound of the Rockies Barbershop Chorus.

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Jim Bagby writes " He was one of the ultimate, most dedicated woodshedders and would be one of the last in the AHSOW rooms.  He loved it.   Same at Harmony College, where he lurked quietly on the grounds in the halls looking for those of his quality he could join or, better, teach a tag.  And then late at night, he’d wind up in the AHSOW room".Jim, we pray you find a harmony group to woodshed with in Heaven - we will miss singing a tag or two with you.Din is a popular choice on business and tech sites. It's also a good font for creating page titles with impact.

Jim Gallagher - June 9, 1937 - March 23, 2021

Jim was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1962 and served in the Air Force  until 1969.  During his service he met his wife, Judy, and they have been happily married for 56 years. Jim and Judy have five children.  After his service in the Air Force, he worked for Delta Airlines until his retirement in 1997.
Jim was one of our original S.P.P.B.S.Q.S.U.S. Board members.  He sang in over 10 quartets, with the Beehive Statesmen and Tri-W, and was a treasurer of the Barbershop Quartet Preservation Association. He regularly attended the annual Harmony College convention to share his love of singing. Through these hobbies he made many lifelong friendships across the country.


Keith Lindsay Eckhardt - September 9, 1941 - January 19, 2021


Keith, of Placerville, California, passed away on January 19th after a fight with the COVID-19 virus. Born in Portland, Oregon, he moved with his family to California when he was a youngster.  Keith worked for IBM as a systems engineer for 30+ years and began his career when computers filled the entire room.  He enjoyed singing but didn't learn about Barbershop harmony and the organization until in his late 30's.  But once he experienced the joys of Barbershop style singing, he was hooked.



Keith was a member of the Bellingham Toppers and the Twin Falls, ID chapters and currently the Placerville CA Gold Rush Chrus.   He was selected as the Far Western District Barbershopper of the Year in 2015.  Keith was the webmaster for both the Evergreen and Far Western Districts.   Keith was really into cooking and always brought treats to the chapter meetings. He had just finished designing a data management system for all barbershop chapters to use.  Keith designed and managed  the program for the 23K Project - its goal was to interview all 23,000 BHS members at the time, charting their likes and dis-likes about the  Society, and seeking their suggestions for improvement. Some of his other involvements were EVG District Secretary, Chief Volunteer Information Officer Barbershop Harmony Society, BHS Volunteer Webmaster, Operation Harold Hill, 23K Project as well as for the Evergreen and Far Western Districts, Secretary for Bud Leabo Memorial Fund, Pacific Barbershop Summit Member. He was an AHSOW 4 part qualifier, BQPA Member, and  'Keeping the P&Q in BHS' . 


Keith will certainly be missed.


John 'Jack' Slamka  -  October 15, 1947 - November 28, 2020

Born in Detroit Michigan, he proudly served in the United States Navy. He later worked as a machinist in the automobile industry prior to retirement in Ft Meyers, Florida.  Jack was active in the Barbershop Harmony Society, Lions Club and AMVETS.  He was a member of the 2003 International Quartet Power Play.


Power Play Quartet

2003 International Quartet Champions

Ronald Gillies  - July 19, 1930 - November 8, 2020

Ron lived in Grand Blanc, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force.  Ron spent over 70 years in Barbershop music beginning with the Bean Town Four. He was a member of the Flint Arrowhead Barbershop Chorus and a Barbershop Chorus in Macomb County.


Bob Wachter  - 6 MAR 1925 – 16 AUG 2020


ROBERT JAMES WACHTER of Alexandria VA passed on Aug 16th felled by the coronavirus.

Bob was a retired Air Force pilot flying B-50 bombers.  He joined SPEBSQSA in 1953.  For over 46 years he directed Washington D.C. choruses Arlingtion, Fairfax Jubil-Aires, Alexandria Harmonizers and the famed daytime Harmony Heritage Singers., plus choruses from Roswell, NM, Little Rock AR, Ponca City OK, Middletown OH, to the Pleiku Highlands of Vietnam. And for more than 35 years he coached quartets at Harmony College East, as qualified by virtue of Harmony College Directors School. He taught voice production there for 11 years and was as a Certified Judge in Sound and Singing for 25 years. Since joining BHS 68 years ago Bob gladly coached and sang countlessly.

“I am a very fortunate man.”


Joseph M. Monahan - August 3, 1946 - March 26, 2020 

Hillsborough, New Jersey


Personification of the Ideal Barbershopper and Friend

​​Joe did it all, and did it well: Quartet – Chorus – Chapter President – Organizer – Motivator  

​​A giving person who had so much more to do.

​​ A guy you just wanted to be with.


He will be sorely missed.

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John Sommer - 1949 - March 16, 2020

SPPBSQSUS Member F0072 since May 2018

John Davis Sommer, 71, of Westerville, Ohio, died on March 16, 2020. A lifelong civil servant, he retired as Deputy Director of Facilities Management for the State of Ohio. 

A 58-year member of The Society for The Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America Inc, John earned judging certification to the barbershop harmony judging system at the early age of 17. John enjoyed his travels, coaching and judging on both district and international levels and went on to coach several international quartet and chorus champions. John achieved many Johnny Appleseed District (JAD) awards as Coach of the Year, Director of the Year and Barbershopper of the Year several times. In 2018, John was inducted into JAD Barbershop Harmony Society Hall of Fame.

John Grant - March 4, 2020

The solid rock of British Barbershop

 Renowned, great and revered throughout the entire Barbershop world

 Coach , Judge, Director, Instructor at Harmony College

 Founder of two BABS  chapters

 BABS Category Specialist in Sound and Singing

 Chairman of BABS Executive Committee

 Chairman of BABS Guild of Judges

 7 time BABS Champion Chorus Director


Gone from us too soon---having left a lasting legacy behind

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Don Clause - January 11, 1930 - January 27, 2020

Matlacha Isles, Florida

​Mentor, Counselor, Quartet Competitor, Chorus Director, Arranger, International Champion Quartet & Chorus Coach, Author of the C & J Sound Category

The following Championship Quartets and Choruses acknowledge Don’s contribution to their success:

QUARTETS: Dealers Choice; Side Street Ramblers; Regents; Rapscallions; Happiness Emporium; Second Edition; Innsiders; Acoustix; Bluegrass Student Union; The Ritz 


CHORUSES: Dallas Vocal Majority; Dukes of Harmony;  Alexandria Harmonizers; Masters of Harmony; New Tradition; Chorus of the Chesapeake.



“Who’ll take my place when I’m gone”

George "Fritz" Grunewald - November 3, 1934 - January 8, 2020

Burkburnett, Texas
United States Air Force from 1954 until 1961
Enthusiastic member and promoter of SPPBSQSUS

"You can bet your last buck that, had his health been better, he'd have been a major contributor."
   Long time member of the Whittier Choralaires, won every chapter award, some twice.
The reputed "king" of convention chairmen.

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Andrew Solari  - March 21, 1951 - July 1, 2019

San Antonio, Texas

Chorus Manager of the Friends in Harmony - "The Enforcer"

Charter Member of Lodge #1

Known for his quick wit and creation of the heartiest laughs at rehearsals

His larger than life presence will be sorely missed


Ev Nau  -  October 30, 1943-April 25, 2019

West Des Moines, Iowa

Long-time staff member of BHS and Harmony Foundation.

Presentation Judge

Teller of great and long stories from Down East.

An ever-flowing fountain of great ideas, plans and programs.



Forever a friend

He was man of epic stature and epic achievements.

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Doug Ward  - June 14, 1961-March 12, 2019

Winnetka, California

Incurable Singer of love songs and ballads

Chorus Director

Tagmeister Extrordinaire

Prolific Arranger

A great friend


We were not ready to lose him

Kirk Roose

Director Lorain and Akron OH chapters; former director 5th place 1981 International medalist Cherry Hill, NJ Pine Barons, Wilmington, DE, Manhattan NY, Bryn Mawr, PA, Elyria, OH, and Independence OH chapters; JAD director of the year 1994, 2005; Quartets since 1960 including Continental Four (M-AD 1967), Yesyeryear (founding member, arranger coach), Over Easy (6th place senior quartet, JAD novice quartet champs with sons Carl(1995) and Kevin (2002); published arrangements: "I'm All That's Left of that Old Quartet", "Bad Buncha Boys", "Let the Rest of the World Go By", "Am I Wasting My Time', "Wer'll Meet Again", "M-O-T-H-E-R", winning tag "Let's Get Involved"; member ASHOW; instructor at District schools in arranging, quartet singing, chorus directing and coaching.

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