Jon Jonsson

Jon Jonsson

Services: 10 a.m. Thursday at Wheeler Mortuary Chapel

Jon S. Jonsson, 71, of Portales died Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, at Roosevelt General Hospital.

He was born June 17, 1934, in Isafjordur, Iceland, to Thorey and Jon M. Jonsson.

He married his first wife, Margret, in Iceland in 1957. She died in 1962. He married Sigrid Dyrest on Oct. 26, 1963. He studied to be a concert pianist in Iceland before coming to the United States to do graduate studies. He earned his master’s degree in music composition from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He completed his doctorate in music from Northwestern in 1965.

He was the founder and first director of the Conservatory of Kopavogur in Iceland, and also directed the Icelandic Singers. He also co-edited the cultural page of the largest paper in Iceland and served as their music critic. He taught college at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, N.D., and Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, before coming to Eastern New Mexico University in 1974. In 1980-81, he chaired the music department. In addition to his duties at the university, he worked for publishing companies preparing hyms and musical scores.

Family members said he was an accomplished composer and was often a featured pianist at university concerts in the 1970s and ’80s. He retired in 1997.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Eyborg Jonsdottir; a son, Ragnar Thor Jonsson; and his first wife, Margret.

He is survived by his wife, Sigrid; three sons, Einar V. Jonsson, Irving, Texas, Gunnar Jonsson (and wife, Sheryl) of San Antonio, Texas, and Vidar Ragnarsson of Wichita Falls, Texas; two daugthers, Thorey Goldstein (Barry) of Denver and Margret Evangelista (David) of Stony Pilot, N.Y.; six grandchildren; and a half brother, Albert.

The Rev. Glenn McCoy will officiate services.

Arrangements are by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.