Mr. Josemaria Gonzalez
May 27, 1927 – March 14, 2020
Mr. Josemaría González, retired organist and choirmaster, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 7:34 a.m. He was 92 years old and in hospice care for pneumonia, in Austin, Texas.
Josemaría was born May 27, 1927, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México. Soon thereafter, his parents - José María González (Palomera) and Manuela Pérez (Villasana)- relocated with him to México, D.F., until 1951.
His aptitude for music was evident in early childhood. He enjoyed the family's player piano; he attended operas and classical music performances with his father; and he had violin and piano lessons at age 10. After his parents' estrangement, he left school at age 13 to support his mother and his siblings. By 1947 he had been employed for 5 years by American Airlines de México.
At age 14, he was a member of "Divino Redentor" Presbyterian Church, for which he played piano and harmonium, and directed the choir. Concurrently, Josemaría independently acquired musicianship by attending choral concerts, by studying scores, and by listening to 78" records and radio. Upon invitation by "El Buen Pastor" Presbyterian Church in 1951, Josemaría moved to Monterrey, Nuevo León to serve as organist and choir director. There, he met pianist Alpha Prince (Rodríguez). As a night-desk agent at the "Gran Hotel Ancira," he had moments to write many letters to Alpha.
He served as organist at First Presbyterian Church-Kingsville, Texas (1954) and First Methodist Church-Taft, Texas (1955). On May 27, 1955, he married Alpha at the First Presbyterian Church, in Taft. They moved to Austin in 1956 where they raised their son and daughter.
Josemaría achieved formal technical and artistic advancement in piano, organ, music theory and other music disciplines at : the National Conservatory of Music-México, D.F., in evening classes for piano and music theory (1947- 1948); A & I College-Kingsville, Texas (1954); Del Mar College-Corpus Christi, Texas (1955); the University of Texas-Austin, receiving his Bachelor Degree in Music Education (1962 ) and his Master of Music Degree in Music Theory and Composition (1968). He was hired to direct the choirs and to teach music for the Austin Independent School District, at Johnston High School (1963-1977) and at Travis High School (1977-1984). One highlight was his Johnston Concert Choir's performance of the Southwestern premiere of "God's Trombones," by Gordon Myers (April 12, 1966).
Josemaría also served as both organist and choir director at St. John's Methodist Church-Austin (1957-1959) and at St. John's Lutheran Church Austin (1959-1961). He held the post of Organist and Choirmaster at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church-Austin (1962-1967), guided by the late Rev. Malcom Riker. Culminating Josemaría's spiritual and musical devotion, he was Organist and Choirmaster for All Saints' Episcopal Church-Austin (1967-1990), with most of those years in collaboration with his dearest friend, the Rev. Armistead C. Powell. After retirement, Josemaría and Alpha often traveled abroad to visit many venues of religious and secular choral accomplishments.
Josemaría lived with a passionate need for choral music in his life in devoted service to God and to Our Lord- to the very end.
Josemaría was preceded in death by Alpha, his wife of 58 years. He is survived by son, Edward González; daughter Alpha G. Malone and son-in-law Stephen Malone; grandchildren Jimmy, Elizabeth, Andrew and Michael Malone; great-granddaughter Mila Malone; his dear sister Consuelo González P. and his younger brother, Manuel González P., both of México, D.F.
A memorial service at All Saints' Episcopal Church will be announced at a later date.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N Lamar Blvd, in Austin. Online condolences may be made at www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mr. Josemaria Gonzalez
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March 30, 2020
My parents were beautifully bonded together by music. I am amazed at the depth of musical talent each one had - Mamá with her memorization and brilliant interpretation of great piano works, and Papá with his facility for playing the pipe organ (“the king of instruments”) and for teaching human voices to lift together in harmonic praise of God.
After years of brave sadness, Papá is finally together with beautiful Mamá again. How blessed were we to have them both.
March 29, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr Gonzalez. I am a ex-Johnston High School student who was in the choir all during high school. I have very fond memories of my choir experiences. I was a member of the Madrigal Singers my senior year and went on the trip to Mexico City that Mr Gonzalez arranged. We all felt excited because we were "on tour" as we sang at the different locations such as the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Puebla Governor's Mansion and the Escuela National de Musica. We toured the city as well and fell in love with Mexico City. Mr Gonzalez's teaching helped solidify my love of music and musicals which continues to this day.