Obits: Donald Gray Angell

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

Donald Gray Angell

Donald Gray Angell, 81, of Asheville, died on Aug. 25, 2014 at the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Asheville. 

Born in Winston-Salem, NC, he was predeceased by mother, Grace McCullough Angell, father, Brady Landreth Angell, and daughter Margaret Angell Tanahey.

He was a business graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and was a CPA for more than 40 years. He also held a bachelor’s of music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served as minister of music for several area churches. He was a member of the Salvation Army Board, Kiwanis, and served on committees during his 30 years as a member of First Baptist Church of Asheville. A lover of music, he played piano and trombone, was part of the Asheville Choral Society, and enjoyed many seasons as part of the First Baptist Church of Asheville Orchestra and Adult Handbell Choir. He sang bass for almost 30 years with the church’s Adult Choir and was a 25-year Charter Member of the Asheville Community Concert Band. 

Survivors: his wife of 34 years, Robbie Hobbs Angell; daughter, Becky Angell Ready and husband Geoff of Hendersonville; son Michael Angell and wife Carol of Asheville; son, David Angell of Asheville; and 3 step-children, Jennifer Blackburn Bracey of Elkin, Joseph A. Blackburn, Jr., and wife Kimberly of Dobson, and Jessica Blackburn Broome and fiancé Charles McAuley of Asheville; 2 brothers, B. Dean Angell and wife Betty of Petersburg, Va., Richard L. Angell and wife Carol of Mocksville; 13 grandchildren including Dustin and Noah Ready, Kevin Angell, Chris Angell, Amanda Angell Bullman, Micaela Angell Warren, Brendan Sampson, Caroline Bracey, Savannah and Nolan Blackburn, Dylan Broome, and Pierce and Jackson McAuley; and 9 great-grandchildren. 

He requested that his life be celebrated through a special worship service. In his presence, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, friends and family gathered in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church Asheville to honor his last wishes. Leading in worship were ministers Clark Sorrells, Karen Sorrells, and Leah Brown, and more than 60 members of the Adult Choir. His children, Michael, David, Jennifer, and Jessica contributed through prayer and words of remembrance, and granddaughter Amanda shared memories and sang for her grandfather. From prelude (a brass trio arrangement of “When the Saints Go Marching In”) to postlude (the “Oak Street Rag,” a song in the ragtime tradition and composed by Don), the service was filled with his favorite music. Many have since reflected upon the memory of watching him quietly direct music throughout the service. His ashes were inurned at the columbarium of The Sacred Garden at First Baptist Church Asheville.

Memorials: Salvation Army or Academy for the Arts at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St., Asheville, 28801.