Charlene Cox-Clifton was born on July 13, 1936 in Hutchinson, Kansas. She developed her love of music studying at Kansas State University where she earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees, all the while teaching both privately and at Kansas State. She continued teaching for over 55 years including at Wichita State University. She is quoted as saying the thing she enjoys most about teaching is “just the joy of seeing (students) succeed at whatever they want to.”
She dedicated her life to music and her students. She inspired young musicians to follow their dreams by helping them to work towards and achieve their goals. She often received letters from students recounting memories of her lessons and how she was “the teacher that most impacted their lives”.
Her beauty, poise and gifts will be remembered by many. Her involvement in professional organizations included: Music Teachers National Association (President on State and National levels). She adjudicated for National Guild of Piano Teachers, MTNA and competitions nationwide. She was also a unit director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Charlene became well-known through her speaking engagements sponsored by American Music Conference, MTNA and College Music Society to name a few. Her numerous achievements include co-authoring a pedagogic manual, Teaching Materials and being the music director for a film series “Music Images” which was designed to introduce pre-school children to the instruments and arts.
Her awards included twice receiving Music Teacher of the Year (in Kansas and New Mexico), and being inducted into the Who’s Who of American Women. Charlene was a leader in all that she did. She moved to Los Alamos in 1992 where she continued to teach and serve in music programs at the Catholic Church. Charlene was preceded in death by her husband David Clifton and her son Jerry Cox. She is survived by daughter Julie Sonveau and grandchildren Aime and Sequoia Sonveau.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, May 19, 2023, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church 3700 Canyon Road. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall. Interment will be determined at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to MTNA: https://www.mtnafoundation.org/contribute/contribute-now/ Or to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish: https://ihmcc.org/online-giving.html