Howard Milton Latta, 91 years old, died February 6 in Fresno, California. A graduate of San Jose State University, where he majored in music, Latta served in the U.S. Army during World War II, following which he taught music in several California schools, and later worked for the California Employment Development Department. He retired in 1982. Latta served as organist for several Fresno-area churches, and was a member and dean of the San Joaquin Valley AGO chapter. He was also a member of Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity. Howard Milton Latta is survived by two sons, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
John Swan McCreary died in Hawaii March 30 at age 83. McCreary grew up in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organ performance at the University of Michigan. Following studies with Paul Callaway in Washington, D.C., he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served as organist and choir director at Cathedral Church of St. Andrew for 50 years. McCreary worked with the Honolulu Community Theatre (now Diamond Head Theatre), the Sons of Aloha barbershop chorus, Hawaii Opera Chorus, Temple Emanu-El, and was the choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Priory School. He also served as choral director at ‘Iolani School from 1968 to 1996.
After retiring from teaching, he stayed on as organist for the school’s chapel services, and accompanied the choir. McCreary had played recitals at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Cathédrale de Notre Dame in Paris, and Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco, and also played silent film accompaniments at Waikiki Theater and Hawaii Theatre, where he served as curator of the theater’s organ. A prolific composer, McCreary made several settings of sacred texts in Hawaiian. His duties at St. Andrew’s included directing its Hawaiian choir, which sings regularly at an 8 a.m. Sunday service. John Swan McCreary is survived by wife Betsy, daughter Susan Duprey, son Kendall, and two grandchildren.
Nancy S. (Massar) Sewell died January 24 in Alton, Illinois. She was 71. She earned her master’s degree in music from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, as well as a degree in history and business finance. She was a system analyst for the U.S. Army for 20 years, taught music at Lewis and Clark Community College, Florissant Valley Community College, and Southwestern High School, and played the organ for more than 45 years at the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey, Illinois. Nancy S. Sewell is survived by a brother, two sisters, seven nieces and nephews, a stepson, and two sisters-in-law.
Lawrence Allen Young, 64 years old, died May 19. He earned a BMus degree from Boston University and an MFA and DMA from the University of Minnesota, majoring in organ performance and conducting. Young served as music director and organist of several churches in northern Virginia. A past dean of the Northern Virginia AGO chapter, he served on the 2010 AGO national convention committee in Washington, D.C., and the 2011 OHS national convention committee. Lawrence Allen Young is survived by his wife, Margo, and three sons.