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Obituary: Gene Paul Cech, 1939 – 2015

Gene Paul Cech passed away on May 19, 2015, in San Diego, California.

He was the son of Joseph A. Cech and Anna Ostrihon Cech. He was born in Oak Park, IL on June 3, 1939. He was raised in and resided in Berwyn, IL. He graduated from Morton High School in 1957. He attended Morton Jr. College between 1957 and 1959. While attending Morton Jr. College he played the bassoon in the Oak Park-River Forest community orchestra where he met his first wife Carolyn Chapman. He graduated from the University of Illinois School of Music in Champaign-Urbana with a B.S. degree in music education in 1962 and subsequently earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois.

He taught music in the Villa Park, IL schools between 1962 and 1966 when he resigned to sing professionally with the Norman Luboff Choir, the Robert Shaw Chorale, and the Roger Wagner Chorale. He toured the United States extensively with these three groups. He then toured Europe with the Dick Hall Chorale.

In the fall of 1967 he accepted a teaching position with the Coronado Unified School District in Coronado, California. He spent almost 25 years providing all of the choral music for the Coronado schools. He also originated the concerts in the park which continue to today.

He was the church choir director of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Chula Vista, California for many years and then accepted a position with the Presbyterian church in Fletcher Hills, CA. In 1975-1976 he pursued and completed all the course work for his PhD in choral music from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He then accepted a position teaching music with the San Diego Unified School District, retiring from that position in 2005.

He is survived by his former wife Carolyn Chapman and their three children: Geoffrey Cech, who served in the U.S. Marines; Gary Cech, U.S. Army, Retired; and Major Nancy Cech, USA. He is also survived by his present wife Suzanne Ninteman Cech, his stepchildren Lambert Ninteman and Michael Ninteman, his step-mother Doris Grandberg Cech, his sister Carole Cech, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was a very talented musician who provided musical joy to audiences for almost six decades.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations are made in his memory to the Coronado School of the Arts, Coronado, CA (

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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