Dr. Thora Asgeirson du Bois died on January 16, 2020 in Stillwater, OK at the age of 92. Her memorial service will begin at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Town and Gown Community Theatre in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
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Dr. de Bois was raised in the Icelandic community of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where her parents emigrated from Iceland with the first of 6 children. Thora’s early piano teachers were Snjolaug Sigurdson and later Eva Clare, founder of the University of Manitoba’s School of Music where Thora studied for three years. She received Associate and Licenciate Diplomas in Music as well as the Licenciate from the British Royal Schools of Music. On a community scholarship, Thora was able to study in Paris, France for two years with Mme. Alice Gaultier-Leon at the Ecole Normale de Musique. In Paris, she met and married her husband of 57 years, Californian Ron du Bois, a studio art student on the GI Bill. After several years teaching in Winnipeg, he was offered a position at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. After several years they made their final move to Ron’s teaching position in the Art Department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The last of four sons was born there.
After completing her Bachelor of Music degree under Victor Wolfarm at OSU, Thora commuted to the University of Oklahoma in Norman to take the Master of Music Degree with Celia Mae Bryant. Later she entered the Doctoral program in 1980 studying with Dr. Digby Bell. These were some of the happiest and rewarding times with a wonderful and supportive faculty! During these years, Thora taught part time in the OSU Music Department becoming a permanent part time instructor in 1980. She also was very active as a recital collaborator with several faculty and students.
Thora accompanied her husband on three memorable one-year sabbatical trips abroad under Fulbright auspices where she taught piano and performed in universities located in South Korea (1973-74), India (1979-80), and Nigeria (1987-80).
Dr du Bois finally (!) completed her DMA degree at retirement age. She retired from OSU in 1996 but not from her music! She continues to maintain her private piano studio and to give piano recitals. Dr. du Bois also remains active on a volunteer basis in the music program at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Stillwater.
Thora was the co-founder of the Stillwater Area Music Teachers Association (SAMTA) having initiated the organizational meeting to form a Local Association of OMTA on August 18, 1983.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com