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Dr. Frank N. (Hap) Speller  III

Obituary for Dr. Frank N. (Hap) Speller III

July 24, 1938 - May 15, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 78


Dr. Frank N. Speller III (Hap), peacefully passed away May 15, 2017, with his wife Sue by his side. A loving husband, father, grandfather, teacher and friend, Hap was born on July 24, 1938 in Tyler, TX, to Frank N. Speller, Jr., and Leola Nichols Speller. We will all miss Hap's witty rhetoric, his awesome sense of humor, his beautiful deep voice, his fascination with people and love of nature which inspired his art, and all the thousands of colorful memories which create our history together.
Hap was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin School of Music where he taught organ and harpsichord for over 40 years. An accomplished teacher, composer and performer, he earned his Bachelor and Doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado, and his Master's degree and Players's Certificate from Indiana University. Hap concertized extensively in the United States, performing organ recitals for three regional conventions and one national convention of the American Guild of Organists, and more than 25 European recitals, including performances in the cathedrals of Notre Dame de Paris, Chartres, Utrecht and Braunschweig. His tour of the United Kingdom included a performance at Westminster Abbey. His appearance on CBS television network's show "This Morning" demonstrating the Visser-Rowland Pipe Organ at the University of Texas was seen by millions of viewers around the country. His performances have been broadcast nationally one "Pipe Dreams" and on National Public Radio's "Performance Today".
He dedicated his professional life to educating his students, but was also an accomplished composer, writing numerous works of sacred music for both organ and choir, with two compositions garnering Pulitzer Prize nominations.
In 1981, Hap collaborated with Visser-Rowland Organ Builders in the design and installation of the world renowned tracker organ at the University of Texas at Austin. At the time he dedicated it in 1983, it was the largest tracker organ in the United States.
Over the years Hap was active in many Austin area music performances and in churches of all denominations. He served as organist at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church and Good Shepherd Episcopal Church,
Hap was preceded in death by his parents, sister Ann Speller, brother William Speller, daughter Alice Crabtree and grandchild Johnny Crabtree. He is survived by his wife, Susan Speller; daughter Anneke Speller; daughter Arlette Moody, her husband Steffon and children Louisa and Giacomo; daughter Adrienne Spiridellis, her husband Evan, and sons Niko and Theo; stepson Robert Wills, his wife Danielle and children Megan, Madison, Jake and Kaitlyn; stepson James Wills, his wife Dana and children Austin and Allison; son-in-law Phillip Crabtree, his wife Lisa and his sons Thomas and Andrew.
Our family mourns Hap's loss but is so incredibly grateful for all of his teachings, his friendship and all the many gifts he gave us. We thank Brookdale Westlake Hills Skilled Nursing and Brookdale Hospice for the loving treatment he received while a patient in their care.
PipeWorks, a radio program featuring organ and choir music from around the world, will broadcast "A Celebration of the Life of Frank Speller." Produced and hosted by Dr. Christopher Teel, the program will air in two parts on July 9 and July 16, 2017 at 9:00 pm on KMFA 89.5.
In honor of Hap's wishes there will be no formal service. He would prefer his life be remembered in whatever fashion honors your connection with him.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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