Theresa Alverne Hubley Sandoz
Died peacefully on June 25, 2011, at her home in Baton Rouge after a prolonged illness. She was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother. A funeral mass will be celebrated at Saint Joseph Catholic Cathedral with interment to follow in the Port Hudson National Cemetery. (Details pending through Rabenhorst Funeral Home.)
Born May 20, 1927, in Many, La., and reared in Shreveport, she recently celebrated her 84th birthday with all four children and some of her nine grandchildren in attendance. She and her husband longtime LSU Professor G. Ellis Sandoz also recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.
Mrs. Sandoz graduated high school at St. Vincent’s Academy as Valedictorian and went on to Centenary College, earning a music degree in voice. As a lyric soprano, she did post-graduate work in music toward a professional operatic career in Europe, studying at the prestigious Heidelberg (Germany) Conservatory. She had previously won acclaim in Shreveport performances of Puccini’s “La Boheme” and “Madame Butterfly,” Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,“ and Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier.”
As an operatic singer, Mrs. Sandoz had not only to learn the music and themes in classical works, but also attained working knowledge of Latin, French, German, and Italian in order to comprehend meaning and interpret the nuances at play in the unfolding musical dramas. Alverne was a marvel at learning opera scores, which can run hundreds of pages, owing to a near-photographic memory and tireless practice.
She met her husband Ellis (who had just completed active duty with the United States Marine Corps) through a mutual friend on the Centenary faculty who knew both were about to go abroad to study in Heidelberg. On their first date, the future Fulbright Scholar and political science professor appeared at the door for a tennis date dressed in cut-off jeans as then-Miss Hubley greeted him in a brand-new white outfit. She later confessed to being shocked and little aghast at the sight of him. First impressions were overcome, and the couple ended up marrying while in Heidelberg–egged on by Mrs. Sandoz’s late sister Marietta, whose husband John Gahr was a U. S. Army Lt. Colonel stationed in Germany at the time.
Between studies and living in Germany for four years, the couple toured Europe, including stops in France, Italy and Greece. Mr. Sandoz reports that in their travels his lovely bride, who then wore waist-length black hair, was often followed– particularly in Greece and Italy–by local village youth enthralled by her beauty. Soon came a choice between family and career and Mrs. Sandoz chose family, and Mr. Sandoz went on to earn his doctorate in political science at the University of Munich. Mrs. Sandoz bore and reared four children and oversaw household matters throughout multiple moves that finally led the couple to Baton Rouge in 1978.
Music remained a prominent part of her life throughout as she sang at numerous weddings and gatherings as well as being active in the Baton Rouge Music Club and the Baton Rouge Music Club Auxiliary, serving as president of both; the LSU Friends of the School of Music Board of Directors, and also on the La. State Music Club executive committee for a time; also active in the Baton Rouge Art League. She was a lifetime member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Baton Rouge Chapter of DAR.) Activities also included Meals on Wheels and other church-related charitable work..
She remains a hero to family members for her loving devotion to her husband and children and extended family and for her dedication to her faith. She had a life-long love of music, one deeply shared with her husband. All the children studied music, one is a professional flutist and music teacher, while several of her grandchildren play and study music currently. She will be missed. May she Rest in Peace.
“Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:8, 14).