Charles A. Peyton


(Feb. 7, 2006)

Memorial services are set Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church for Charles A. Peyton, a Powell music maker during four decades. Mr. Peyton, 78, died Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Powell Valley Care Center.

A band director in the Powell school system for 30 years, he was the first person to be recognized as an Honorary Alum by the Powell High School Alumni Association.

He was born March 16, 1927, to “Dutch” and Margaret Peyton in Chamberlain, S.D. He lived in Kennebec, S.D., until the age of 9, then moved to Deadwood, S.D., and graduated from high school there in 1945. He attended Black Hills State College, graduating with a B.S. degree in Education in 1950. During his senior year, he taught music in Vale and Nisland two days a week. He was a member of Zeta Sigma Fraternity.

On July 20, 1947, he married Nona Carlson in Spearfish.

Following college graduation, he taught history, vocal and instrumental music in Wessington Springs, S.D. While there, he formed a 35-voice men’s chorus and was a member of SPEBSQSA. After two years in Wessington Springs, he accepted an offer to direct the high school band in Belle Fourche, S.D., a position he held for five years.

In the summers at Belle Fourche, he directed the Cowboy Band, which was chosen to play for President Eisenhower’s visit to Mt. Rushmore.

In August of 1957, he moved his family to Powell to become band director at Powell High School. In 1960, he moved from the high school band director’s job to Powell Junior High School as band director and held that position until he retired in 1987. He received his Master’s degree from BHSC in 1962 after completing three years of summer school.

In the summer of 1972, he was one of the teachers who went with the Powell High School Band on a trip to Europe. He became a member of the American School Band Directors in 1960.

He also shared his music with the community. For many summers, he directed city band concerts in Washington Park. He played piano and trumpet in the Carrol Whelan Dance Band and in the Roy and Jane Peck Dance Band, groups that performed in the area over a period of 25 years.

He was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church and was in the church choir for many years. He was a member of the Powell Kiwanis Club and was named “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” by the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1980-81.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Nona of Powell; sons Mike of Manassas, Va., Tom (Kathie) of Ord, Nebr., and Greg of Flagstaff, Ariz.; a daughter, Karen Gates (David) of Eugene, Ore.; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Jeremy Gates.

The family would appreciate memorials to First United Methodist Church.