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Stevenson's First Band Director Dies at 82

Dave Habley started Stevenson High School's band program in 1967 and led it until 1984.

Dave Habley, as he appeared in Stevenson's 1975 yearbook.
Dave Habley, as he appeared in Stevenson's 1975 yearbook.

Dave Habley, who started Stevenson High School’s band program and led it for 17 years, died Jan. 6 at the age of 82. 

His wife, Caryn, is a retired Stevenson teacher, and his brother, Tom, also is a retired SHS teacher who still coaches at the school and works in its Student Assistance program. Habley lived in Lake Zurich.

Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 11 at Davenport Funeral Home, 149 W. Main Street, Barrington. A funeral service will follow the visitation starting at 11 a.m. Burial will take place after the service at Ascension Catholic Cemetery, 1920 Buckley Road, Libertyville. 

The Berwyn native arrived at Stevenson in 1967, two years after its opening, with the mandate to start a band program. He had previously taught at Richards High School in Blue Island. 

At Stevenson, he built a strong foundation for the band program and later in his tenure took students on performance trips around the country and to Europe. In 1980, the Concert Band finished third at the International Music Festival in Vienna, Austria and also performed in Germany and Switzerland. In another school year Habley took the band to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Marching Patriots also took part in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

Habley was born April 9, 1931. He graduated from the University of Illinois, where he took part in the marching band and performed when the Fighting Illini played in the Rose Bowl in 1952.

— Information provided by Stevenson High School

Did you know Dave Habley? Share your memories in the comment section below.

Lynn Frederick January 17, 2014 at 09:40 PM
Our deepest sympthay to the Habley family. From the Frederick family (Dennis, Lynn, Kevin and Lindsay).

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