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Obituaries » Earl T. Hyde

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January 21, 1943 - July 24, 2022

A service in witness to Earl’s life and faith will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park Street, Kalamazoo, with the Reverend Julie Kline officiating. Friends will be received by the family on Friday, August 5, 2022, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home, 917 S. Burdick Street, Kalamazoo. Earl will be laid to rest in the First United Methodist Church Columbarium. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church Music Department or Smile Train (for corrective surgery for children born with cleft palates), in c/o the funeral home.

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Earl, age 79, passed away on Sunday morning, July 24, 2022. He was born on January 21,1943 in Grundy, VA, the son of the late Earl C. and Faye (Hess) Hyde. On June 19, 1965, he married his high school sweetheart Nancy Rae Hyde who survives him. Earl was a graduate of Union High School in Grand Rapids and graduated from Grand Rapids Junior College. He received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music from Western Michigan University. Music was Earl’s passion. He began his study in guitar at the age of nine. His first guitar was a Silvertone from Sears and Roebuck. Over the years, Earl owned many guitars. He formed his first band as a freshman in high school. That was the beginning of a long and successful career as a professional musician. He was the front man for The Knights, a dance band that played weddings and clubs for many years. Earl was a large part of the musical landscape of Kalamazoo, playing several seasons in the pit orchestra at the Augusta Barn Theatre. When the Kalamazoo Symphony sponsored the summer concerts on the roof of the Gilmore parking ramp, Earl was called to play with stars like Errol Garner, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Doc Severinson. Miller Auditorium called on him to play the Broadway musicals that were presented there. Earl also had the heart of a teacher. While a student at WMU, he taught private guitar students and would go on to teach many others the joy of music throughout his life. He was band director for Covert Schools from 1965-1968; Climax Public Schools from 1968 to 1973 and for Gobles Public Schools from 1984 to 2003. His marching and symphonic bands earned many honors. He also owned and operated Earl Hyde Music for more than ten years. Earl was a faithful member of First United Methodist Church and shared his musical gift playing in the band for Connections, the contemporary service. He also played once a month at Parchment United Methodist Church. Earl loved to share his music with others. Over the years, he has taught, played professionally, and shared music with many people. His music room at home was always open to anyone who wanted to come and strum with him. Earl was a loving, supportive husband and an involved father, attending countless sports events for Ben and numerous ballet recitals and high school productions for Samantha. Earl will be remembered for his fairness, patience, and love of music. His smile and kind and caring nature will be missed by all who loved him. Earl is also survived by his son Benjamin Hyde; son-in-law Adam Knight; grandsons Keaton and Greyson; sister Karen (Timothy) Carr; nieces, nephews, and countless friends. He was also preceded in passing by his daughter Samantha Knight.