Jack Stephen Gramlich, 57, died Feb. 12 in Dallas from complications of metastic melanoma.
Gramlich was born Aug. 23, 1950, in Highland, Ill. He graduated from public schools there and received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Southern Illinois University in 1972.
After teaching music in Illinois for three years, Gramlich began a new career in journalism as an editor for the Wall Street Journal in the Chicago area. In the early 1990s, Dow Jones & Co. transferred him to its newly opened southwest division office in Dallas, where Gramlich continued to work as a journalist until retiring after more than 25 years in the newspaper industry.
After his retirement, Gramlich returned to his first love by taking the position of director of music as Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dallas, directing the Chancel Choir and the Children’s Choir there until the time of his death.
Gramlich, a gifted vocalist, was a member of Turtle Creek Chorale for several years, performing regularly in the chorale’s serious concerts and in those spiked with humor and choreography. After those years, Gramlich decided to further explore the great classics of the choral music tradition, becoming a devoted member of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, whose members now mourn his loss.
In life, Gramlich was generous and kind to everyone who knew him. In death, he continued that by donating his body to the UT Southwestern School of Medicine.
Gramlich was preceded in death by his parents, Joe Gramlich Jr. and Doris Elizabeth Gramlich.
He is survived by his large family of choice, which will gather to celebrate his life at a Eucharistic Memorial Service to be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 8200 Devonshire Drive in Dallas. This service will be officiated by the Rev. Karl Schwarz, and Gramlich’s legion of friends are invited to come, to sing, to remember, to mourn, and then to rejoice in a life well lived. A reception follows in the Fellowship Hall. Memorials may be directed to any of the following: First Congregational Church in Highland, Ill.; Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ in Highland, Ill.; Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dallas; or the Jack Stephen Gramlich Donor Advised Fund to provide music scholarships at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill.
George Berry Stephenson, 69, died on Feb. 7, and services were held at the Cathedral of Hope on Feb. 14.
Stephenson, who was born on May 7, 1938, in Gainesville, was buried in Valley View Cemetery on Feb. 15 near the North Texas town where he grew up. At the time of his death he was in the process of restoring his childhood home in Gainesville, which he kept as a second home after his parents died.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gwen Stephenson and George Walter Stephenson. He attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the University of Texas at Austin. He also attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles before beginning a 20-year career as a graphic artist.
After his retirement from the graphic arts field, he became a substance abuse counselor and was appointed executive director of the Ethel Daniels Foundation. He drew upon his personal struggles and accomplishments in Alcoholics Anonymous to help others suffering from addiction.
Stephenson was also an accomplished artist, and his work was shown at the Cathedral of Hope and other Dallas venues. He was an avid bridge player and looked forward to bridge nights at the church on Tuesdays.
He and his beloved dog, Miss Victoria, were familiar sights in both his Oak Lawn and Gainesville neighborhoods. He enjoyed riding with his dog through town with the top down on his convertible.
He is survived by his daughter, Amy Judith Stephenson of Austin, ex-wife, Patsy Stephenson, and several close friends, Don Williamson, Leslie Johnson, Tom Wood, Wayne T. McCall, David Duncan, Lynn Street, John Politis and many other friends from Alcoholics Anonymous and Oak Lawn.
Donations may be made to Alcoholics Anonymous. Condolences may be placed at www.legacy.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 15, 2008