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David C. Mowrey, 1946-2010: Ex-music teacher honored for work with gifted students

CAREY, Ohio - David C. Mowrey, 64, a music educator in school systems around northwest Ohio who became an award-winning teacher of gifted students, died Thursday in Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus.

He was taken to Ohio State after undergoing heart bypass and valve repair surgery at Blanchard Valley Hospital, Findlay, his son Martin said.

He retired in April from the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, where he was a supervisor of the talented and gifted program in the Fremont schools. He'd previously retired in 2005 from the Tiffin City Schools, where he taught in the elementary gifted program. Earlier, he taught in the gifted program of the Elmwood Local Schools.

In 2004, then-Gov. Bob Taft presented him with the Ohio Gifted Teacher of the Year award. In 2007, his work with young people was recognized by the Optimist Club of Tiffin. He received a distinguished service award in 2009 from his employer, the educational service center.

"He was always working on some project, usually connected with school. He was planning a new theme or unit he wanted to use," said his wife, Sharyn, a retired teacher. "He was very dedicated.

He was a music teacher and band director for much of his career. His last such position was with the Anthony Wayne Local Schools, which hired him in 1993 to be director of the Marching Generals.

He arrived there after about seven years in the Otsego Local Schools, where he started elementary students on instruments and directed junior high and high school bands.

"He was very energetic about whatever he did, whether it was directing a marching band or a concert band," said Mary Ezzone, who taught elementary music at Otsego and helped with the bands. "He worked many, many hours learning the music. The kids liked him a lot. He was very personable."

She and her husband, Nick, were music teachers of Mr. Mowrey's when he was an elementary student at Montgomery Local, which became part of the Elmwood district. His instruments were bassoon and trumpet. His mother played and taught piano.

Music "was in his life and it was just sort of in his blood," Mrs. Ezzone said. "He was always on the move with music, and he loved every minute of it."

He was born May 26, 1946, in Fremont to Doris and James Mowrey. He was a 1964 graduate of Elmwood High School, where he was in the jazz, pep, and marching bands. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from Bowling Green State University, where he played in the marching band.

"He just wanted to be a music teacher because he liked to learn," his wife said. "He wanted to give that to his students, the desire to learn and the desire to keep reaching to achieve."

He pursued post-graduate studies at BGSU; Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, and Indiana State University.

His first position was band and choral director at National Trail High School in New Paris, Ohio. He also was a band director in the Carey schools.

In the 1980s, he was a founder of Mowbecker Music Store in Bowling Green, which catered to instrumental and vocal music teachers.

"Music was just his life, and he enjoyed any part of working with other people in music," his wife said.

When he felt the need for a change, he chose gifted education and furthered his studies at Ashland University.

"He always said that in working with bands, he worked with gifted students," his wife said. "This was just a different aspect of working with gifted students.

"He just threw himself into it. It was different, and it was a new avenue for him to follow," his wife said.

Mr. Mowrey had been choir director of Grace United Methodist Church, Carey; Wesley United Methodist Church, Fostoria, and First Presbyterian Church, Tiffin, where he also directed the bell choir. He directed the bell choir as well at Trinity United Methodist Church in Bowling Green.

"He will be remembered by many people in the Toledo area," his wife said.

Surviving are his wife, Sharyn, whom he married June 20, 1970; sons Martin and Marc Mowrey, and brothers, Daniel and Dennis Mowrey.

The family will receive friends from 1-7 p.m. Sunday at the Stombaugh-Batton Funeral Home, Carey. Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Grace United Methodist Church, Carey, where the family will receive friends after 10 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to the Dorcas Carey Public Library, Carey.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.

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