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Joseph Eugene Nabors Sr.

August 8, 1945 July 14, 2017
Joseph Eugene Nabors  Sr.
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Obituary for Joseph Eugene Nabors Sr.
Joseph E. Nabors, Sr. was born in Portland, Oregon, on August 8, 1945 to the late Louis Adam Nabors, Sr. and Lillian Conerly Nabors. He was the second of five children and was reared in Leesville, LA. He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis Adam Nabors, Sr. and Lillian Conerly Nabors, sisters Karen Isabella Nabors and Martha Nabors and brother, Louis Adam Nabors, Jr.

At an early age Mr. Nabors joined Antioch Primitive Baptist Church in Vowells Mill, LA. He was educated in the Vernon Parish School system, and because his mother, Lillian was the kindergarten teacher he began school at the age of three. Upon graduating from Leesville High School in 1961, at the age of 15 he was admitted to Southern University Agricultural & Mechanical College on a trumpet scholarship.

While attending Southern University Mr. Nabors met his soul mate, Patricia Ann Nabors. Mr. and Mrs. Nabors were united in marriage on February 21, 1966, and to this union they were wonderfully blessed with four children, Joseph E. Nabors, Jr., Krystal Nabors-Barnes, Kim Renee Nabors, and Kellie Nicole Nabors.

In 1966 Mr. Nabors graduated from Southern University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with a concentration in Instrumental Music. Recognized as one of the greatest music educators and Director of Bands in the State of Louisiana, Joseph E. Nabors, Sr. distinguished himself as a highly skilled and talented teacher of music.

After graduating Southern University, in the fall of 1966, Mr. Nabors began his music teaching career at St. Matthews Sr. High School in Natchitoches, LA. After a short time there he was offered a job in St. Landry Parish at Melville High School. He taught at Melville and Palmetto for seven years, but was then given an opportunity in Opelousas where he began teaching at East Jr. High School in 1974. After working five years at East Jr. High he was offered a position as Director of Bands at Opelousas Sr. High School where he spent the majority of his career (1979 – 1998). Over the next 15 years he worked as Director of Bands at a number of schools across the state, including but not limited to St. Landry Charter School, Lake Charles Boston High, School, Breaux Bridge High School and Arthur F. Smith Magnet School until his retirement in 2013.

With over 45 years of providing dynamic music leadership and education in Louisiana schools, Mr. Nabors dedicated his life to incorporating various teaching and pedagogical techniques for the purpose of creating a series of rich musical experiences and memories for his students that would be retained for life.

Mr. Nabors was a pioneer and perfectionist in his own right. The tenacity of a fierce lion, combined with the compassion of a gentle giant best described him. His marching bands always performed the most intricate moves, and precision drills that wowed audiences, while his concert bands played the most difficult classical pieces and symphonic compositions.

As a life long educator, he created an environment where students were excited about learning and playing music as well as affording them the opportunity to participate and excel in various musical activities, such as marching band competitions, parades, half-time shows, and other events including, parish, district and state honor bands, and concert music festivals.

Mr. Nabors believed that a student’s mind was an open canvas, and the fundamentals of music are instrumental to the future growth and development of students by helping them find a connection between music and the development of mathematical thinking, developing coordination and movement that improved motor skills, learning acceptable ways to express and control their feelings through music, while stimulating creativity and innovation.

Mr. Nabors instilled the importance of excellence and discipline as the foundation for learning and key elements for success and advancement. During his tenure, he was a source of inspiration to all. He provided a sense of hope, encouragement, pride and achievement in his students and the belief that with hard work, patience, and practice they could accomplish their goals and dreams and become whatever they wanted to be. As a prolific leader in the community, he was an advocate for justice, an agent for change, never conforming to the status quo, but always exceeding the limits of possibility and a promoting a value system that “If you believe it, you can achieve it!”

In addition to his music career, Mr. Nabors was a devoted tennis coach and player. His love of tennis was infectious and began as a time of leisure with his college sweetheart, Patricia Nabors. With this, his tennis career began after losing one too many games to Mrs. Nabors. He then accepted the challenge of becoming a student of the game to master his skills and essentially win over his college sweetheart.
His passion for the game led him to share what he had learned with all of his children. As soon as they could hold a tennis racquet in their hands, he found himself teaching the game of tennis to his children as he had done with music. For more than fifteen years, he also taught tennis to countless students through a city program at the Opelousas North Park. Anything he learned to do well he shared it with others. Mr. Nabors passion and dedication for tennis led to traveling coast to coast with his family across the United States playing tennis tournaments at the local, state, national and professional level. In the summer of 1986, he met Arthur Ashe at the A.T.A. National Championship tennis tournament in Detroit, MI.

His untiring efforts led all four of his children to attend college on full tennis scholarships, while earning national rankings and numerous awards. Each and every motor home had a customized sound system to his liking that played Earth, Wind and Fire (In The Stone), Al Jarreau (Black and Blues), Diana Ross (The Boss), Michael Jackson (PYT), Cheryl Lynn (Got To Be Real) and Maze ft. Frankie Beverly (Love Is The Key), were just a few of his favorite tunes. While driving, he never failed to strum the bass line of a tune without precision all the while asking, “Did you hear those changes?” or, “That progression is a one, four, five, and back to the one” or “Did you hear that diminishing chord? He taught you how to enjoy music. And if you decided to sing, you had to sing in key!

On Friday, July 14, 2017, Joseph E. Nabors Sr., 71 entered eternal rest. A beloved husband, father, friend and educator leaves to truly cherish his memories, his wife, Patricia Nabors; son, Joseph E. Nabors Jr. (Alisha); daughters, Krystal Nabors-Barnes (Jemar), Kim Renee’ Nabors and Kelli Nicole Nabors; brother, Isaac R. Nabors, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild; two aunts, Pearalee Bilberry, and Maxine McGaskey, and one uncle, Booker T. Nabors, Sr., and a host of wonderful brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, many dear friends and every student he taught and mentored throughout his distinguished career as a dedicated teacher.
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