Dr. Robert F. Hounchell
Dr. Robert F. Hounchell was called home on September the 12th, 2019, at the age of 89, after a long, hard-fought battle with dementia/Alzheimer's. Dr. Hounchell was born April 18, 1930, to Harry Lee Hounchell and Alla May Welty Hounchell, in Moores Hill, Indiana.
Dr. Hounchell is a 1948 graduate of Austin High School and a 1952 graduate of Indiana University, where he was a member of the Music Fraternity Sinfonia. He then went on to receive his master's in music education as well as his PhD from Indiana University. He is a lifelong member of the Indiana University Alumni Association.
In his growing-up years he was quite the athlete, participating in track and field, holding many records at his former high school that were only recently broken in the last few decades, and he was also considered quite the basketball star. He was active in scouting and achieved the highest level of an Eagle Scout. He went to France for the world scouting jamboree, where he was the leader of his troop along with his former friend, Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon. Dr. Hounchell also served his country during the Korean War while stationed in Germany.
Dr. Hounchell began his teaching career in the public school system in southern Indiana, teaching at Clarksville and Jeffersonville high schools. He was then appointed to the faculty of Indiana State University in the fall of 1963. He served the university as coordinator of the Voice and Choral Division, and served many summers as the director of the University Show Choir workshops as well as director of the summer choral workshops that featured world-renowned guest conductors Roger Wagner and Paul Salamunovich. He also served on the College of Arts Recruitment and Retention Committee and the University Scholarship Committee. Dr. Hounchell was the conductor and visionary of the beloved ISU Madrigal Singers, who performed legendary beautiful traditional Elizabethan Christmas dinners at ISU for many years. The Madrigals group also went to Ball State to perform, and the Indiana Music Educators Convention, as well as performing on the IU campus, IUPUI Hammond campus, and Vincennes University campus. The group also toured and performed in England in 1975. Dr. Hounchell was also a conductor and director of several other ISU musical groups during his tenure: the University Concert Choir, the University Singers, Sycamore Singers, the Women's Glee Club and Men's Glee Club, and he served as the director of the Opera Workshop and Opera Theatre productions. As director of the Opera Workshop and Opera Theatre, he presented the first national performance of Mozart's comic opera "The Goose of Cairo" at the National Opera Association's Convention in Detroit.
His other professional activities and honors included serving as governor for the National Opera Association for Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio. He served as secretary and contest chairperson for the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He was a member of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association, for which he served as editor for the Central Division newsletter, "The Resound," as well as for the Indiana Newsletter, "The Notation." Dr. Hounchell also appeared as a moderator, lecturer, and panelist at national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. He also served as an adjudicator for the Indiana State School Music Association.
His contributions to the community were many, including founding the Terre Haute Choral Society in 1973, where he served as the conductor for 10 years, bringing the community much joy though music every Christmas season as the group performed Handel's "Messiah" under Dr. Hounchell's watchful and masterful conducting. He served as the finance chairman for the Terre Haute Symphony as well as music director for many Community Theatre musical productions.
He and his wife Jacqueline also served as choir director and organist for 36 years at the First Congregational Church. The couple received a Terre Award for their service to the community.
Dr. Hounchell led an extraordinary life and was beloved as a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, mentor, colleague, friend, and neighbor.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years Jacqueline Paul Hounchell of Dallas, Texas; his son Robert Justin Hounchell (Janet Aitkin) of Wellington, Colorado, and daughter Jeanne Ellen Hounchell (Jaxi) of Dallas, Texas; son-in-law Marshall Harvey of Los Angeles; grandchildren Shannon Harmon (Brian) of Colorado Springs, Danielle Baker (Byron) of Denton, Texas, Robert (Lisa) of Dallas, Texas, Katharine Harvey of Los Angeles, and Jacqueline Baker, a.k.a. Jaxi, of Aubrey, Texas; great-grandchildren Miguel, Elijah, and Ethan; his brother-in-law J. Andrew Paul of Redington Beach, Florida; his niece Judith Piland (Paul) of Corpus Christie; and great-niece Jordan Mauldin (Zane) of Corpus Christi; as well as adopted grandson Ricky Noles (Berry/Harley) of Aubrey, Texas; and several nieces and nephews on the Paul side and many cousins on the Welty side. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Anne Elizabeth Harvey; his brother Joseph Donald Hounchell (sister-in-law Margaret); and his parents Harry Lee and Alla May Hounchell; as well as many beloved friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
The family would also like to recognize and thank our caregivers Darlene Carter, Kathi Lynch, Hayli Renfro, and Kelli Carr and Aspen Hospice for helping us navigate this difficult journey.
The family would like to ask you to remember his legacy by donating to the National Alzheimer's Association. Memorial donations may also be made to the Indiana State University Foundation-Robert Hounchell Music Scholarship, https://www.indstatefoundation.org/give-indiana-state-university; or donations in his memory to First Congregational Church in Terre Haute, Indiana.
There will be a celebration of life open house in the Dallas area on Sunday, September 29th, 2019, from 2 to 6 PM, with a memorial service beginning at 3 PM at the home of Jeanne Hounchell, 177 Las Colinas Trail, Cross Roads, TX 76227.
There will also be a celebration of life open house on October 19th in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the First Congregational Church, from 2 to 6 PM, with a memorial service starting at 3 pm.
Published on September 17, 2019


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1 posts

Sandee Miller Ramsey
Sep 18, 2019
Dr Hounchell & wife Jacque took my children under their wings in Terre Haute. Both sang in the church choir as students at ISU. But this couple went beyond that relationship and entered my children's hearts. They were the "away from home" lighthouse. Such sweet memories. Oh the choir Dr "H" is directing in Heaven! God bless.