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In memoriam: Brandon Mehrle, 89

Brandon Mehrle, former assistant dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, died at his home on Jan. 23. He was 89.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. at East Whittier Presbyterian Church, 14061 E. 2nd St., in Whittier, Calif.

Born on Oct. 17, 1923 in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Mehrle served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a sergeant during World War II. He attended Southeast Missouri State University, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at Northwestern University and did graduate work at the USC School of Performing Arts.

Mehrle directed high school and college choirs in Burlington, Iowa, and was an assistant professor at Montana State University before moving to Los Angeles to begin his career at USC. He retired from USC in 1989.

He received many honors for his work with students and faculty. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda, a national honor society for students and professors of music, and the Skull and Dagger Honor Society at USC.

In 1989, he received the USC President’s Award for Staff Achievement. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Service Award for Distinction to the University at Southeast Missouri State University. For many years, he served as co-chairman of the Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Auditions, and in 1972 he was a founding board member of the Metropolitan Associates in Pasadena, Calif.

Mehrle is survived by his wife, Miriam, of 66 years, his sister, Jane Bodine, his son, David, and daughter Dana (Mehrle) Emery, grandchildren Julie Emery Bauer and Kevin Emery, and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the USC Thornton School of Music Brandon Mehrle Scholarship Fund, 840 W. 34th St., Suite 4080, Los Angeles, Calif. 90089.

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