Dr. Betty Louise Lumby

Published 6:20 pm Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Dr. Betty Louise Lumby

Dr. Betty Louise Lumby, age 94, of Montevallo, died in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday, March 22.

Dr. Lumby was born in Detroit, Michigan to Avery L. and Bessie A. Lumby on Feb. 3, 1926. She earned the Bachelor of Music degree from two institutions; the Detroit Institute of Art and the University of Detroit, a Jesuit School. Following her undergraduate degrees she received the Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

She taught briefly at the Detroit Institute and in 1953 she began teaching at Howard College Eastlake (now Samford University) for three years. From 1956 to 1957 she was a US Fulbright Scholar, studying in Germany under the famous Bach scholar and organist, Helmut Walcha. Following the Fulbright, she received her earned Doctorate of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary NYC (now the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.) Alongside her degrees she held the certificate of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, the organization’s highest level of distinction and a most coveted achievement.

Dr. Lumby was Professor of Music and University Organist at the University of Montevallo beginning in 1957 until her full retirement in 2012. As part of her duties at the university she taught the pipe organ, harpsichord, and counterpoint and played the organ for various university functions. While teaching she was the Music Director and Organist at several area churches, including St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook. A devout Roman Catholic since the 1970’s, Dr. Lumby was the Titular Organist for St. Bernard’s Abbey for more than twenty years.

She is survived by her numerous friends, current and former faculty and staff at the University of Montevallo, and her numerous students across the country and throughout the world.

There will be a private graveside service held at a later date at Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Michigan.

Through her faith, music, influence, brilliance, love, graciousness, and wit, Dr. Betty Louise Lumby graced this earth as a most extraordinary woman!