George "Keith" Gnagy

April 26, 1918August 21, 2013

George “ Keith” Gnagy, age 95, passed away Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at Northern Lakes Nursing Center, Angola, Indiana. He formerly was a longtime Fremont resident.

Mr. Gnagy was a band teacher all his life, and retired from Fremont High School as music teacher and band director.

He graduated from Hamilton High School and the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, and received his master’s degree in teaching from Northwestern University at Gunnison, Colorado.

He was a United States WW II Marine Corps veteran, serving from 1944-1946.

Mr. Gnagy was a member of Clear Lake Lutheran Church.

He was born on April 26, 1918, in Hamilton to Kenneth and Olive Gnagy. He married Pauline U. Lowery on May 4, 1939, in Bloomington and she preceded him in death May 5, 2010.

Surviving are two daughters, Mellodee and Peter Barlow of Portland, Ore., and Sherree Shilt of Kearney, Mo.; two sons, Dan and Shari Gnagy and Jon and Robin Gnagy, all of Angola; two grandchildren; Andrew Shilt and Heather Lee, and two great-grandchildren; Isabella and Harbor.

He was also preceded in death by his parents; a sister, June Meyer, and a brother, Jerald Gnagy.

Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, August 25, 2013 at Beams Funeral Home in Fremont.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 25, 2013, at Beams Funeral Home, with Pastor Tim Miller officiating. Burial will be in Clear Lake Lutheran Cemetery at Fremont. With military committal services conducted by members of Fremont American Legion Cassel Post 257.

Memorials are to the Fremont High School Music Department.


  • Visitation Sunday, August 25, 2013
  • Funeral Service Sunday, August 25, 2013

George "Keith" Gnagy

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Tammy Lewis-Pursell

August 29, 2013

Mr. Gnagy was my neighbor for years and eventually my band director until he retired. He was a wonderful man, an astounding band director with incomparable values and could take a normal musician and make them great. I have only good memories of him and he will be missed!

Phyllis McConnell-Bowman

August 25, 2013

Keith Gnagy was an Excellent Band Director! He taught us how to be a really sharp marching band! I'm proud to have been his student & always respected him! Prayers for his family.

August 25, 2013

Mr. Gnagy was my music teacher in Butler in the late 50's and early 60's. I started in the 4th (or 5th) grade in Fluteaphone band and stayed with music all the way through college. He instilled a love of music and a sense that I could accomplish anything I wanted. We played "real" music like Beethoven and Brahms and wonderful march music. Our Marching Band was small but mighty and we went to and won NISBOVA marching contests. We sent students to State instrumental contest every year and we worked hard because he made us love the music and the hard work. He started our HS dance band, the Hi Fi's, and we played proms and concerts all over the area. I have such wonderful memories of those times and of Mr. Gnagy and all he brought to my life and out community. My deepest sympathies to your family. People all over the area share your sorrow.

Kathie Oiler Swaim, Butler

Patty Kaufman Floehr

August 25, 2013

He was my band director at Fremont High. He was great and I grew so much as a musician and flute player under his instruction. Condolences to his family. He was a wonderful person.

Vicky Pontious (Siegel)

August 25, 2013

He came to the Fremont High School band when I was there; he was a great teacher, I will miss him.

Ashlee Wilcox

August 24, 2013

Although I never had Mr. Gnagy as a band director, my mom, Melissa Fisher Wilcox did, and has lots of fond memories of him as a director. He instilled a love of music into her that was passed onto me. He will always be remembered in this home, and town, as an amazing band director!

August 24, 2013

My deepest sympathy goes out to your families in the loss of your father. I was a member of the best band around at Columbia city from 1962-1966. He taught all of us a lot of life lessons in those 4 years. He was and always will be one of my favorite teachers. I can still hear him introducing the swing band. "Here's that band again!' Rest in peace Mr Gnagy.

Dennis Judd. (CCJHS band of 1962-1966)

Karma (Noragon) Austin

August 24, 2013

My sympathies to the family - fond memories of him at FHS; always a smile on his face!

Fritz Martin

August 24, 2013

My deepest sympathy to your family with the loss of your father. I was a member of the CCJHS Golden Eagle marchimg band 1962 - 1966.

August 24, 2013

Keith Gnagy was and will always be remembered by the people of Columbia City. The Golden Eagle Marching Band that he created was the foundation of Columbia City high school. Every music/band teacher since he left has been compared to the standard he set. Sorry for the loss, it is huge, not only for his family, but for everyone who experienced his passion and dedication.
Long time CC resident speaking for many. Prayers to the family.