Glenora Rose Toomey Hall spent her entire life helping people and making good things happen, quietly and often without people knowing what she was doing. Her encouraging and loving way brought out the best in others and there are countless students, musicians and friends that were touched by her kindness.
Before taking her last breath on February 10, 2021 at age 81 after a long battle with cancer, Glenora served over 40 years teaching college math and nearly 70 years serving as either a church pianist, organist or music director. Her love for teaching, math and music was matched only by her love for her family and her grandchildren, unless of course our constant chatter was too much for her. In those moments, Glenora read- it is no surprise that she read often throughout her adult life. She loved supporting libraries and book stores, particular used book stores, where she found, purchased, read and returned thousands of books over the years.There were always two bags of books in her car- an “unread” bag and an “already read” bag she was returning to the used book store or library.Yet, she was always quick to put down her book to listen to a story, run an errand with or for a family member or spend time with her children or grandchildren.
With a mother, father and grandfather that served as a Sunday School teacher, a pastor and a church music director respectively, Glenora was at home at church and with music at an early age. She took her first piano lesson at five. By elementary school, Glenora was playing for church groups. She played for numerous churches her father pastored over the years and as an adult, in 2000, Glenora began playing piano and organ at Noe’s Chapel Church responding to their need for a pianist or organist by filling both. She later supported the church music program and other musicians serving in those roles, filling in as choir director, pianist, organist or bells leader wherever needed until her illness prevented her from serving.
Glenora was also a natural at math. She won the math award at Carson Newman College, which was unheard of for a woman in her day. After briefly teaching high school math, Glenora began teaching at Walters State Community College where she was a tenured professor serving over 40 years. She enjoyed teaching both calculus and development math, because she found helping students in both classes equally rewarding. Glenora received the outstanding faculty award and retired only to be able to visit and spend more time with her grandchildren when they were born.
She was the kind of trail blazer that saw the best in people and embraced anyone needing a hand or a friend because she knew what it was like to be that person. Her courage could be seen in her willingness to take stand when others sat silent and her adventurous nature in her many trips with her daughter, which never quite went the way they were planned.
Glenora is loved by her husband, Edward Carroll Hall; her daughter , Sara; son, Glen; and her grandchildren, Allison and Colin McCown (Sara) and Ava and Nora Hall (Glen). She was preceded in death by her father, Reverend Glenn A. Toomey and her mother, Vivian Shell Toomey; her brother and sister, John and Ruth. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 pm on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at Westside Chapel Funeral Home in Morristown and a graveside service at Dandridge Memorial Gardens at 11:30am on Sunday, February 14, 2021.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date this spring or summer at Noe’s Chapel Church and will be filled with music played by musicians with whom she played over the decades. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Noe’s Chapel Church, Morristown, music program or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Arrangements by Westside Chapel Funeral Home in Morristown
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