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Obituary

Vina Williams

Obituary Vina Williams

Courtesy of Craig Williams

Vina Williams

On September 27, 2022, Vina Williams (née Malvina Louise Montgomery), loving wife of Thomas Slattery, passed away at the age of 86. Vina is survived by her husband Tom, son and wife Craig and Lee, daughter-in-law Kathi, grandson and wife Drew and Megan, grandson Joel, granddaughter Abigail, grandson Stewart, and two great-grandchildren Emersyn and Oliver. She was pre-deceased by her first husband Barry, son Mark, and brother William Montgomery. 

Music was always at the center of Vina’s life, beginning her career as a young girl singing solos in the Old Stone Church, East Haven, Conn. She sang as soloist and chorister in churches and concert halls for more than 60 years. For 17 years, she was the professional soprano soloist at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Laguna Hills, working with Don Walker and Gary Toops. When she moved to Orange County in 1969, she joined the Irvine Master Chorale under Maurice Allard. In 1970, she was soloist in the Verdi Requiem and she remained in the Pacific Chorale under John Alexander until 2010.

When orthopedic and eyesight issues made it too difficult to perform, she continued her fundraising efforts for the Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony.  For the Pacific Chorale, she was on the Emeritus Board, established the Encore Society, chaired the Gala fundraiser three times and was the recipient of the 2014 Entrepreneur in the Arts award. With the Pacific Symphony, she was on the Board of Directors, Board of Counselors (which she chaired 2010-2011), and Symphony 100. She spearheaded the Pipedreamers, supporting the William Gillespie pipe organ in Segerstrom Hall. She was a sponsor of many Chorale and Symphony concerts, including several featuring the brilliant young pianist Conrad Tao, whose career she actively promoted.

Music played a big role in the lives of her children and grandchildren; Mark playing drums while serving as a missionary in the Philippines, with his children and grandchildren surrounded by music; Craig becoming the fourth organist/choirmaster of the West Point Cadet Chapel; granddaughter Abigail becoming a high school choral director; and grandson Stewart graduating with a degree in musical theater. There are many professional musicians whom she considered “spiritual” musical children, those who were directly inspired in their musical journeys through her example.

A memorial service, open to all family and friends, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. in Grace Lutheran Church, 6931 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Pacific Symphony, www.pacificsymphony.org and Pacific Chorale, www.pacificchorale.org.

 

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