Brazosport’s Music Man

John Abram Magee Sr. of Lake Jackson went to be with the Lord on September 30, 2009. He was born on August 14, 1924, in Glen Flora, Texas, to Don and Ella Wheeler Magee. He grew up in Orange County, Texas, enjoying the outdoors, especially riding horses.

If you ever have sung a note and enjoyed music, you know John Magee Sr.

A devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, his love for music was evident in his life as he has shared it with all of his students for many years. No matter if you were in one of his many public school, church or community choirs, he always left you with a great appreciation for music, but more importantly he modeled God’s love and compassion to all.

When he was 2, he was stricken with polio, which kept him out of the armed forces and WWII. As a worker in the Consolidated Steel Shipyard in Orange, Texas, he did his part helping build battleships for American troops. In the shipyards, his talent as a trombone player won his spot with the shipyard band. The company wanted them to play at lunchtime to keep up worker morale, so they always scheduled him for the day shift.

In 1944, he married the love of his life, Agnes Davis. When the war ended, the Magees moved to Huntsville and attended Sam Houston State Teacher’s College. He studied music under Dr. Euell Porter, where he discovered his love for choral music. Later he earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education. He came to Freeport in 1947 and taught choral music in Brazosport Indepen-dent School District for 37 years. He taught countless students to sing, harmonize and love the expressions of a cappella music.

John and Agnes loved Colorado. After his retirement in 1983, they built their mountain home, which they named Seven Spruces. During his retirement, he continued to be active in music organizations, including the Peak to Peak Chorale in Colorado and the Brazos Area Boy Choir in the Brazosport area. In the past, he has served as vice president of the Brazosport Fine Arts Council and president of the Brazosport Community Concert Association. He also was a vice president of the Texas Choral Directors Association.

Behind every great “music man” there’s a great lady. He is survived by Agnes Magee, his wife of 65 years; his daughter, Donna Magee Lunsford; and son, John Abram Magee and daughter-in-law, Kathy Engelhardt Magee. The Magees have seven grandchildren, Julie Lunsford Gareis and her husband, Scott, Mark Davis Lunsford and his wife, Ashley, Amy Lunsford Seeber and her husband, Kevin, Brent Thomas Lunsford and his wife, Courtney, Margaret Magee Doiron and her husband, Josh, Elizabeth Magee and Rachel Magee.

Their great-grandchildren are Isabel and Caroline Lunsford, Cass and Mason Seeber, Cole and Chloe Lunsford and Abram and Alexis Gareis.

Arrangements are with Lakewood Funeral Chapel in Lake Jackson.

A visitation will be held there on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

The funeral service will be at First Baptist Church in Lake Jackson at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The family has requested that any memorials be made to the John Magee Choral Scholarship fund, in care of The Community Foundation of Brazoria County, P.O. Box 2392, Angleton, TX 77516-2392.

Online condolences can be made at freeportlakewoodfuneralhomes.com.

Published October 2, 2009

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