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Obituary for Ahdel Chadwick

FORT WORTH -- Ahdel Emma Reich Chadwick, 98, a lifelong resident of Fort Worth and a participant in the musical life of the city, passed on due to natural causes on March 9th.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00a.m. Saturday, April 6th 2013 at Bewley Hall of The Woman's Club of Fort Worth (1316 Pennsylvania Avenue).

Contributions in Ahdel's memory may be given to the Fort Worth Opera (1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107 or or The Southern Poverty Law Center (400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 or

Ahdel was active in The Woman's Club of Fort Worth and served as president for one year. Her love of music drew her to the E. Clyde Whitlock Club, where she served as treasurer and also performed. During much of her life, she was a piano accompanist and loved amateur ensemble work. For many years she played with trios, other musicians playing violin, cello, or flute.

One of Ahdel's most enduring activities was being on the board of the Fort Worth Opera. She began volunteering with the opera in 1946, was on the opera board by 1955, and was eventually named an Honorary Life Member of the board. She also volunteered with the McCammon Voice Competition. During the early years of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition she was a hostess for a competitor during four competitions. Her most memorable guest competitor was Minoru Nojima, who won second place in 1969, after which she and Nojima kept in touch for a number of years.

Ahdel was born on August 13, 1914 at the home of her parents Bruno and Hulda Reich at 1000 East Weatherford. She was the second of three daughters of Bruno and Hulda, who were from German-American families. Bruno was the owner of Reich's Bakery, an early Fort Worth bakery.

Ahdel attended Central High School and was valedictorian. After high school she went east to Vassar College, majoring in music and specializing in piano. She accompanied the Vassar Glee Club and also received the music cup in composition. During college and one post-graduate year she studied with Pulitzer Prize winner Quincy Porter. At that time Ahdel wrote a string quartet which has been performed on several occasions.

After college Ahdel returned to Fort Worth and continued to compose. A few of her songs, including one titled Metropolitan Melody, were played in the Fort Worth area by dance bands and on the radio.

On New Year's Eve of 1938 Ahdel met Kelroy Chadwick, a local realtor. They married early in 1942 and had two children. Kelroy, known as Kelly, died in 1956. Ahdel did not marry again but she did have two long-term relationships with John Farley, a jazz pianist, and Richard Whinery, an attorney, both now deceased.

Every year for over fifty years, Ahdel hosted a New Year's Eve party at her home. She also especially enjoyed family reunions with her sisters, nieces and nephews, and she often recited humorous poems she wrote for those occasions.

Ahdel's survivors include her daughter, Susan Chadwick and husband Don Koué; her son, David Chadwick and partner Katrinka McKay; sisters, Brunhilde Knapp and Eleanor Griffith; grandsons, Kelly Chadwick, Clay Chadwick, and granddaughter, Camille Koué.

This obituary submitted to the Fort Worth Star Telegram by Guardian Funeral Home to be published Sunday, March 17, 2013.