Normand G. Poulshock

Normand G. Poulshock

ILWACO - Ilwaco resident Normand Garber Poulshock, 77, died July 5, 2003 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Seattle.

The only child of Polish-Russian immigrants Meyer and Esther (Garber) Poulshock, he was born Feb. 7, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pa. and as a youngster began studying both piano and violin. The family moved to Los Angeles where he graduated from Eagle Rock High School in 1943.

Mr. Poulshock served with the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1944 until 1949. He attended the Navy School of Music in Washington, DC and was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii with the base band. While in Honolulu he recorded with a jazz ensemble known as "The Melody Masters" which included John Coltrane.

With his military service behind, Mr. Poulshock settled in southern California where he obtained his bachelor and master degrees in music and music education from Long Beach State University. He taught music in Garden Grove, Calif., schools for several years before moving to Klamath Falls, Ore., where he taught until 1959. While in Klamath Falls, he was founder and conductor of the Klamath Falls Symphony Orchestra.

Moving to the Seattle area, he taught in Seattle and Bellevue schools and pioneered the use of electronic music to teach music fundamentals in Washington public school music programs. Continuing his teaching at the college level, he was a lecturer in the music department of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma from 1975 to 1994.

Following retirement he settled in Ocean Park and later in Ilwaco. On the Peninsula he served as trustee for the Surfside Homeowners Association, served on the City of Ilwaco Planning Commission and was on the board of the Peninsula's Water Music Festival. Until recent illness he enjoyed performing weekly with friends at the Festival Coffeehouse at the Port of Ilwaco.

Over the years, Mr. Poulshock provided private instruction to many students in piano, guitar, French horn and other instruments. Respected and loved by his students, he was still teaching this year.

He served as composer in residence for Cispus Music in the Environmental Summer Music Camp for 12 years. The Washington State Music Teacher's Association named him Composer of The Year in 1990, commissioning a violin sonata. His piccolo sonata was performed at the National Flute Conference in 2000. Mr. Poulshock played French horn in the Honolulu, Long Beach and Anaheim symphonies; viola in the Cascade and Pacific Lutheran symphonies; and jazz piano in various night clubs from Honolulu to Los Angeles.

He was a composer and arranger for much of his life and composed in many genres and styles, from jazz to symphonic. His compositions include "A Short Symphony for Synthesizer and Orchestra," commissioned and performed by the Seattle Symphony, a viola concerto performed by the Cascade Symphony; several jazz-style compositions for strings; many band and orchestra compositions; pieces for brass quintet and brass trio; sonatas for piano, French horn, trumpet, clarinet, violin, trombone, English horn and piccolo; and numerous 'teaching' pieces for piano, two of which were published in the Washington State Music-Teachers Association Centennial edition.

Mr. Poulshock met Barbara Baker in Honolulu and they were married there on Oct. 14, 1947. She survives living in Ilwaco. Also surviving are sons David Poulshock of Portland and Joseph Poulshock of Japan; daughter Deborah Schramer of Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; grandchildren Nina, Baker and Lucas Poulshock and Matthew and Michael Schramer.

They will cherish memories of a husband and father who was not only musically gifted but an exceptionally tolerant and courageous individual, soft-spoken and blessed with a wry sense of humor and a keen intellect. Fishing and time with family were always enjoyed as well.

A celebration of his life will be held Wednesday, July 16, at 1 p.m., at the Ocean Park United Methodist Church with a reception following. Family graveside service was held at Oysterville Cemetery. Arrangements by Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, Long Beach.

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