Alma Winnifred Lushik Kravig
1930 - 2008
Alma Kravig, a pianist, enjoyed a reputation as an accomplished accompanist and effective piano teacher. While still a teenager, she achieved standing at the highest level in piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada.
Alma was born and raised in Arlee, Saskatchewan, Canada, on April 14, 1930, one of three daughters of Dan and Sacha Lushik. Although her father was an amateur guitarist and there was always music in her home, she would be the only child who seriously pursued music. She started piano at an early age in nearby Saskatoon and continued study while attending Canadian Junior College, now Burman University, during her high school and college undergraduate years.
She transferred to Walla Walla College, now University, and completed a degree in secretarial science in 1956. While at CJC and WWC, she was very active as an accompanist for the college choirs and vocal students. Her extensive involvement in music led to a relationship with and marriage to Franklin (Frank) Kravig, a music major, on May 29, 1956.
In 1955, Frank, while still a student at WWC, organized and directed The Sharps, a student choral group, which Alma and Gladys Robinson accompanied. It was the first group from the college to participate in the Greater Spokane Music Festival, where it sang the Brahms Leibeslieder Waltzes.
In 1957, before Frank had completed a degree, the Kravigs were offered positions at Wisconsin Academy, where he taught piano and organ and she taught secretarial science. In their eight years there he completed a B.Mus. at Andrews University. In 1965, they were hired to teach at Walla Walla Valley Academy in Washington, where they taught for the next four years and Frank completed a M.Mus. at Washington State University. In 1969, they accepted positions at CUC, where Alma taught secretarial science and assisted in music, and Frank chaired the music department.
The Kravigs returned to the U.S. in 1975 to work at Gem State Academy. When Frank left music teaching in 1987 to complete a degree in accounting and eventually assume ownership and leadership of a nearby college of business and technology, Alma continued to teach at the academy, where she also served as registrar until her retirement in 2005.
All through her college years and until her death at age 78, she was continually involved in music as an accompanist, church musician, and studio teacher. She played a major role in the musical development of their four children: oldest son Dan, twins Dean and Kenton, and daughter Kari. Both Dan and Dean are accomplished brass performers and directed academy bands; Kenton, a gifted singer, is musical director for the largest Catholic church in Dallas, Texas; and Kari plays regularly as a violinist.
Alma was living in Yakima, Washington, at the time of her death on September 20, 2008, at age 78.
Sources: Biographical information provided by her oldest son, Dan Kravig, 6 February 2009; Social Security Death Index; Personal knowledge, I hvae known and interacted with the Kravig family for over forty years.