Clyde "Bud" Dengler, 83, music teacher

Clyde R. Dengler
Clyde R. Dengler
Posted: June 22, 2014

Clyde R. "Bud" Dengler, 83, of Lititz, Pa., formerly of Newtown Square, a longtime music teacher and conductor, died Sunday, June 1, of pneumonia at Moravian Manor in Lititz.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Dengler graduated from Upper Darby High School and received bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from the University of Pennsylvania. He also was certified as a school administrator.

He began his teaching career at Garrettford Elementary School in Upper Darby. During this time, he led 14 sixth graders known as the "Little Big Toppers" on a 33-week TV show for CBS in Philadelphia, doing commercials for the CBS lineup.

After six years teaching at Garrettford, he moved to Drexel Hill Junior High School and then to Upper Darby High School, where he succeeded his father, Clyde R. Sr., a member of the Pennsylvania Senate from 1969 to 1974.

"He moved right into his father's classroom," said Mr. Dengler's daughter Leslie D. Elicker.

He joined the superintendent's staff as director of personnel for the Upper Darby School District. Four years later, he became principal of Hillcrest Elementary School, then Garrettford, and finally Bywood Elementary School, from which he retired after 33 years in public school education.

Seeking a return to the classroom, he was briefly a member of the music faculty at West Chester University. Then he settled in for a 10-year career teaching music and organizing choral concerts at the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont. He took the singing group on tours across the country.

Mr. Dengler also spent 20 years as conductor of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia. He planned and conducted more than 50 concerts at the Academy of Music and Verizon Hall.

"He was really dedicated to it," said Elicker. "He connected with the singers, and got the best out of them."

Retiring for the last time in the mid-1990s, Mr. Dengler moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he enjoyed boating and indulging his love of music by creating the Chester River Chorale, which grew to more than 80 singers.

He was married for 53 years to Jane Bloomburg Dengler. In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by daughter Kimberlee A.; son Keith A.; a brother; four granddaughters; and two stepgrandsons.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Lititz Church of the Brethren, 300 W. Orange St., Lititz. A reception will follow at Moravian Manor, 300 W. Lemon St., Lititz, Pa. 17543. Burial took place earlier.

Contributions may be sent to Moravian Manor Benevolence Fund at the address above.


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